Steve McClaren opens up on mental "trauma" he suffered after defeat to Croatia

Steve McClaren has opened up on the mental battle he faced after being sacked as England manager, describing the experience as a "trauma".

The 59-year-old was appointed to the Three Lions' hotseat after the 2006 World Cup in place of outgoing boss Sven Goran Eriksson, but lasted just 16 months in charge.

McClaren's reign was ended by defeat to Croatia in the final qualifier for Euro 2008, which stopped England reaching the tournament finals.

The lasting image of McClaren as England boss is of him stood on the sideline under an umbrella, which subsequently led to him being heavily criticised.

And McClaren admitted the whole experience made him fearful of leaving the house, and he was forced to seek help from a sports psychologist.

McClaren told Sky Sports: "I remember after that England game [vs Croatia], talking to him [psychologist] and saying: 'How the hell do I come out of this in one piece?'

"Because I didn't feel like leaving the house, the bedroom, engaging with people. I didn't feel like any of that.

"He just said: 'Look, go in a cave, lock yourself in for a week, 10 days, however long, write down the experience, what you've learnt – good and bad – get it on paper, close the book, then get out there and get back on the horse and get back into management.

"If I didn't have someone telling me that, I wouldn't have done it.

"And I did that, got back on to the horse and came out of that."

McClaren had only held one management position prior to his England appointment, though had served as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Man Utd previously.

He had achieved considerable success with Middlesbrough over a five-year spell, including reaching the UEFA Cup Final, but his England role ended in disappointment.

At the time of his sacking, McClaren's stint of 18 games in charge was the shortest of any England manager in history, beaten only since by Sam Allardyce (who lasted just one match).

After being removed from his post the day after the Croatia tie in November 2007, McClaren then stepped back into management the following June with Dutch side FC Twente.

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