Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren admits it would be a “dream come true” to lead Middlesbrough to Uefa Cup success in his final game in charge.
Boro meet Sevilla in Wednesday’s final in Eindhoven and England manager-elect McClaren said: “It would be a perfect ending for me.
“It would be a wonderful platform to take the club forward into the future.
“I’m so pleased I was able to deliver success to Middlesbrough, hopefully we can top the lot on Wednesday night.”
McClaren admitted his appointment as the next England coach has provided an added burden in the build-up to the final.
“There have been enough distractions over the past few days that might have caused the players’ concentration to wander,” he added.
“But we have settled down and worked hard, and it’s important to finish of with a win.”
“We have enjoyed some marvellous occasions and Boro will always remain close to my heart.
“It’s a big game for us, an historic game. I’m sure even Newcastle or Sunderland fans will be hoping we can win!
“That’s what we trying to do and we’re capable of winning it.”
McClaren is aware of the threat posed by the Spanish side.
“We’ve watched Sevilla a lot and have had have had some help from Bolton who played them in the group stages,” he said.
“They’re a very good team, typical Spanish – quick, play good football and strong technically.
“They have Fredi Kanoute and we know all about him. They play good football and that’s why they’re in the final.”
Meanwhile, Sevilla coach Juande Ramos was giving little away on the eve of the game.
“To win we must do whatever we do best,” he said.
“We’ve worked hard and now we want to play well and meet the high hopes and expectations we have.”
“He is very able and will get the best out of his team,” Ramos said when asked whether McClaren’s imminent departure would give Middlesbrough additional motivation.
“He will want to leave with a victory.”
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