Source AP ©

Steve McClaren takes full responsibility for failure to qualify for European Championship

Steve McClaren, England ex-coach, assumed responsibility for the failure to qualify for next year's European Championship, a major tournament since the 1994 World Cup.

McClaren was fired as England coach Thursday, only hours after a 3-2 loss to Croatia at Wembley Stadium knocked them out of contention for Euro 2008. It's the first time England has failed to qualify for next year's European Championship.

"Ultimately it's my responsibility, my job," McClaren said. "When I took it on I said I'd live and die by results, and I'd live and die by qualification. Judge me on that, and people have.

"I'm not making any excuses," McClaren added. "I'm taking full responsibility. Results didn't go our way and I paid the price ... I'm just hugely disappointed."

After Wednesday's game, McClaren had insisted he wouldn't resign. But Football Association chairman Geoff Thompson announced Thursday morning that the former Middlesbrough manager's contract had been terminated after an emergency meeting by the 12-man FA board.

"It is a sad day to be relieved of my post and I understand decision of the FA," McClaren said. "I have never walked away from anything and I never wanted to.