England's football stars will call new Steve McClaren 'Boss' and not 'Steve' following his promotion from Sven-Goran Eriksson's right-hand man to head coach. The players admitted they were not sure how to address McClaren - indeed, it was one of the main topics of discussion when the new squad met in Manchester ahead of their friendly clash with reigning European champions Greece. And Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves said: 'We were having lunch and some of the lads were talking about what we call him. He's the manager now. He's the boss and I don't think we can call him on a first-name basis any more.' After working with the England team as part of Eriksson's backroom staff for more than five years McClaren has developed a close relationship with the players. But the 45-year-old former Middlesbrough boss' position has now changed and Hargreaves added: 'An assistant manager develops a different relationship with the players to a manager. They are closer to the players. 'Now he's the manager and he knows the lads on and off the pitch. That's great because he knows all our strengths and weaknesses and that bodes well. There are some different players in but in general it's a similar squad to the one a few weeks ago.' McClaren introduced his new backroom team, which includes assistant Terry Venables and Middlesbrough coach Steve Round, to the players ahead of their first training session. Sports psychologist Bill Beswick watched from the touchline as Ray Clemence worked with goalkeepers and Hargreaves continued: 'We had a team meeting with the new manager and the players and a quick hello to get to know the staff. 'That's normal. Just a quick hello and a short meeting. It's not that long since we all saw each other - but it's a different team and a different time with a new manager. 'Steve McClaren told us that everyone controls their own situation, that every player in the squad today has the opportunity to prove himself and keep his England shirt.' In the absence of Michael Owen through injury and Wayne Rooney, who will miss next month's opening two Euro 2008 Group E qualifiers against Andorra and Macedonia, McClaren is set to give Dean Ashton the chance to partner Jermain Defoe up front against Greece. Ashton, who was playing in the Championship with Crewe 18 months ago, has revealed that he has been tapping into West Ham United team-mate Teddy Sheringham's vast knowledge for advice on how to handle his ascent onto the international stage. The 22-year-old could have no better tutor than Hammers team-mate Sheringham, who appeared for his country on 51 occasions and has been more than happy to pass on any tips Ashton has required. He said: 'I speak to Teddy all the time and try to take as much from him as I can. He has been fantastic since I have been at West Ham, giving me confidence and tips and really, there could be no-one better to learn from. 'He was, and is, an unbelievable player. I admired him long before I got to West Ham and to have the opportunity to play with him, and train with him every day, is something special.' Ashton continued that Sheringham has also been a help in offering tips about England's newly-appointed assistant coach Venables: 'Teddy talked a lot about Terry and said a lot of good things about him. 'He really enjoyed working with Terry and said I would do the same. From what I have seen so far, it is very good.'
ITN | August 15, 2006