Football: Ginger Snaps; EXCLUSIVE ENGLAND EURO D-DAY McCLAREN RANTS AT PLAYERS: DON'T LET COUNTRY DOWN

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Byline: OLIVER HOLT and JOHN CROSS in Tel Aviv

STEVE McClaren confronted senior England players at a team meeting in a last-ditch effort to rescue his Euro 2008 hopes, it emerged last night.

Skipper John Terry also revealed he had given his own rallying cry, ordering team-mates to get nasty with each other in a bid to raise their standards. McClaren took the lead when he launched into the stunned players on Wednesday night on the eve of their departure for tonight's crunch qualifying clash with Israel.

The under-fire England boss told them that individually they were the best players in the world but they needed to bond as a team if they were to reverse their slide towards European oblivion.

And his tirade was already being seen last night as the first positive sign that McClaren is finally establishing his authority over the squad.

In his rant, which surprised even England veterans with its passion, McClaren told a group of players including Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney it was time they started producing their club form for their country.

McClaren told them he was sick of England's record of underachievement and that he wanted to use the Israel game to draw a line under it. …