Mac hopeful on partnership
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve McClaren is confident Andrew Johnson will work well in tandem with Wayne Rooney.
Steve McClaren is excited about the prospect of Andrew Johnson working in tandem with Wayne Rooney.
With Michael Owen and Peter Crouch injured Johnson is set to start up front for England against Israel on Saturday.
The Everton striker has been played out of position by England in the past but McClaren insists his selflessness has not gone unnoticed.
The England boss believes Johnson has all the attributes to make an impression at international level, and is confident his game will complement Rooney's.
"I can see a lot of potential in Andy and Wayne," said McClaren.
"Having someone who stretches opponents should help bring the best out of Wayne.
"Andy is a team player. Against Holland, he was on the right wing yet he still kept running back.
"Look at Didier Drogba at Chelsea. Strikers have to work as hard as anyone else in the team to defend.
"Defenders don't like to play against strikers like that."
England's Euro 2008 qualifying group is delicately poised following their disappointing defeat to Croatia in October, but McClaren believes his players can draw on that experience to inspire them in Israel.
"The past is motivation," he said.
"We need to do better and it has to start on Saturday.
"But I do feel we have moved on from that night in Croatia. We have looked at things and now there is a real determination amongst everybody, the players and the staff, to get the job done.
"We know that we have eight qualifying games left. The goal is qualification, that is what we are working towards."