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Steve McClaren has revealed that he hid in the bathroom of his home, rather than watch the final minutes of Israel's victory over Russia, a result that means England only need a draw against Croatia on Wednesday night to qualify for Euro 2008.
McClaren told Sky Sports News: "I had slipped to the bathroom, but heard a big scream from my two boys and gathered from that, unbelievably, that Israel had got the winner. It didn't seem like that when the game was poised at 1-1. But that's football, we are grateful. Israel are a proud nation."
"Not that I watched the majority of it, but the key moments... it was a case of an agonizing 95 minutes but [they] got the right result and we end up exactly where I thought at the beginning - needing a result against Croatia to go through," he said.
McClaren is confident that he has enough depth to his squad to overcome injuries to strikers Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney and his first-choice center-half pairing, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
"I said after the game on Friday there is enough in that dressing room, there are good enough players to get the result we need," McClaren said. "I have called up Darren Bent, and Owen Hargreaves will join us."
McClaren refused to respond to whether his position will still be tenable if England lose against Croatia, a result that would almost certainly see them fail to qualify for the upcoming competition.
"I'm not going to discuss that. It's about the build-up and the preparation," he said.
Meanwhile, Israel's victory over Russia on Saturday night may have been crucial for them after all.
The 2-1 win means the team will receive a relatively easier group in the 2010 World Cup qualification draw, should it defeat Macedonia in its final qualifier on Wednesday.
A win will take the blue-and-white from the fourth grouping of teams to the third ahead of Sunday's draw and will mean the side will only need to face two superior sides in its group rather than the three it played in Euro 2008 qualification.
The Israel squad, including the scorer of Saturday's winner, Omer Golan, returned to training on Monday.
Golan is still coming to terms with the fact that he will not be getting the new Â£50,000 Mercedes offered as a prize by Manchester bookmaker Fred Dunn to the Israeli player who would score the winner against Russia.
The Israel Football Association legal advisor Moshe Avivi announced on Sunday that a player can't receive any gifts from a third party, meaning Golan will not be allowed to get the car.
"I was hoping to give my father the car as a present," Golan told Army radio. "Dunn called me and congratulated me. He was shocked that I wasn't being allowed to receive the car. I think he's more disappointed than anybody else."
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