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Steve McClaren's Twente win Dutch league title


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Former England boss Steve McClaren has led FC Twente to the first Dutch league title in their 45-year history.

McClaren, sacked as England manager in 2007, is the first English coach to win a major European league title since Sir Bobby Robson with Porto in 1996.

Twente went to NAC Breda on the final day of the season with a one-point lead over Martin Jol's Ajax.

And the Tukkers triumphed 2-0 against their 10-man opponents to render Ajax's 4-1 win over NEC meaningless.

Ajax finished the season with a remarkable goal difference of +86 and won their last 14 league games, but Twente were rewarded for a steady season in which they lost only two games.

"This was a fantastic afternoon and it was amazing how my players handled the enormous pressure," McClaren told Eredivisie Live TV.

"Last season we lost the cup final and finished second in the league but we kept growing and growing and today it proved that we are more experienced after all our big games in the Europa League."

McClaren, who celebrates his 49th birthday on Monday, took charge at the club in June 2008, six months after he was sacked as England coach in the wake of the national team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

The Tukkers finished second in the Eredivisie in his first season, and were runners-up in the domestic cup final.

But they went one better this season, pipping in-form Ajax to the post, and earning themselves a place in the Champions League group stages for the first time.

Facing an NAC Breda side hoping to qualify for the Europa League play-offs, Bryan Ruiz - a ?4.3m signing last summer - settled Twente's nerves with his 24th goal of the season.

That came seconds after NAC's Csaba Feher was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Theo Janssen.

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Miroslav Stoch sealed the win 16 minutes from time.

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Great achievement that to be honest.

McClaren is not a bad manager. He did well for Middlesborough as well (UEFA Cup Final no less), but I guess managing England was too high a level for him.

McClaren had the balls to take a job in Holland, and he made a success of it, so fair play to him (Y)

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