Gibson: Mac not at fault

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Steve McClaren's former boss Steve Gibson has insisted that England's international ineptitude is not the fault of the new national manager.

McClaren - who won the League Cup for Gibson during his time at Middlesbrough - has been on the receiving end of some stringent criticism in the national press following England's poor 1-0 defeat to Spain on Wednesday night.

However Gibson has now defended his former manager to the hilt, stating that England's current struggles in the international arena are a result of deep-seated problems in the national game, not the ability of the current manager.

The Boro chairman has accused Premiership clubs of failing to give young English players and managers a chance at the top level and restricting the pool of talent available to McClaren and his predecessors.

"What we're asking Steve to do is perform miracles," said Gibson.

"He might be able to perform one or two but he's not able to perform them forever. Steve can only work with the tools that the country gives him and at the moment those tools aren't good enough.

"I think Steve needs to be judged at the end of his term, not less than one year into it after five or six games.

"There's many, many other reasons why the English football team isn't working. It hasn't worked successfully since 1966.

"The Liverpools and the Arsenals, what do they contribute at national level? If we're going to improve our game at the national level, we need to involve the clubs - the clubs have got to have a willingness.

"We've got to start looking at not just the head coach, but at the whole structure.

"We do have an enormously successful Premiership. It is exciting, it's great to watch, it's great to be involved in.

"But I see this march we've had over the past five or 10 years of clubs appointing foreign coaches, foreign assistants.

"What chances are English footballers getting at our major clubs?"

Gibson also hit out at former Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone who had launched a stinging attack on McClaren after leaving The Riverside in January.

"I think Massimo's a fool," Gibson told Five Live. "He came to this football club with a tremendous opportunity. He wasted that opportunity. His comments afterwards were foolish."