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Break has come at the right time.

INTERNATIONAL football always comes second fiddle to the club game for me, as I've written in previous columns.

The gaps can be disruptive, especially if you are on a roll like the Boro.

But I think the current fortnight off is good timing for the Boro players.

They've just had five games in 15 days and haven't had a lot of time to put their feet up and savour what they have achieved.

The players can have a bit of craic on the training ground, keep ticking over and get a few rub-downs and come back refreshed for the games ahead.

Milwall is certainly a winnable fixture at home a week on Saturday and the chance to get a second win of the season at the Riverside, although we can't just expect to roll them over because of what the league table says.

Nottingham Forest are up after that at the City Ground and they are in turmoil with the resignations of Steve McClaren and their chairman.

McClaren's departure doesn't necessarily look that good on his CV, but fair play to him for having integrity and sticking to his guns.

He was at loggerheads with the board over signings and decided to walk away. Fair play to him - I admire people who have principles.

McClaren's managerial record is a tale of extremes.

Great success at the Boro and Twente, a disaster with England, tough time in Germany with Wolfsburg where all wasn't well and now the Forest debacle.

Everyone I've spoken to about McClaren has said that his man management skills need polishing, but the same people have said as a coach he is second to none.

CAPTION(S):

GONE: Steve McClaren's departure from Nottingham Forest came just before he was due to face Boro
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2011
Words:295
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