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Dutch title the best for McClaren

Steve McClaren says the 2009/10 Eredivisie title-winning season in charge of FC Twente is the highlight of his career to date.

McClaren served as assistant manager to Alex Ferguson during Manchester United’s famous treble-winning campaign in 1998/99, before leading Middlesbrough to the first and so far only major trophy in their history, the 2003/04 League Cup.

He later coached the England national team and Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, but still considers his first spell at Twente, which produced a first ever league championship for the club, his biggest achievement yet.

“To manage Twente, that was the ultimate for me, 34 games and finish at the top, you beat the people like Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, to do that for me was the best so far,” he said.

McClaren is now enjoying his second spell in the Eredivisie after returning as head coach of Twente in January.

They have won nine out of their 11 league games so far this season to top the table and are in a strong position to repeat their achievements of 2010.

A second title would go some way to banishing the memories of McLaren’s ill-fated spell in charge of England between 2006 and 2007, when the national team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

“I’ve gone on record and said it (the England job) was a little too early for me but I was young, ambitious, felt I could do the job and I think in the end that inexperience and some bad luck along the way, really it came a little too early,” he said.

“But I have no regrets, it’s given me opportunities as a former England manager to work abroad and to pass on my coaching experiences to others around the world.”

Twente face Levante in the Europa League on Thursday, where a win would boost their chances of qualification to the knockout stages, before travelling to third place Vitesse in the Eredivisie on Sunday.

Wed 7 November, 2012
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