Steve McClaren on ex-Boro 'maverick' Alen Boksic and how he dealt with the forward

Steve McClaren managed Middlesbrough between 2001 and 2006.Steve McClaren managed Middlesbrough between 2001 and 2006.
Steve McClaren managed Middlesbrough between 2001 and 2006.
Former Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren says striker Alen Boksic was worth the hassle during their time together on Teesside.

Boksic made over 70 appearances for Boro between 2000 and 2003 which coincided with McClaren’s spell at the Riverside.

And despite the challenges Boksic posed for his former boss, McClaren says the Croat proved his worth, mostly because he was capable of scoring important goals.

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McClaren was a guest on a new podcast ‘A pint with Eamonn and the Gaffers’ hosted by Eamonn Holmes and was asked about his tactics when dealing with maverick players like Paul Pogba.

“We’ve had lots of them,” McClaren replied. “One, you have to know the individual, two, can they make you successful and win you football matches? That’s the key thing!”

The former Boro boss then singled out Boksic as a player who was difficult to deal with on Teesside but was simply too good to leave out of the side.

On the topic of mavericks, McClaren added: “We had one at Middlesbrough, Alen Boksic, great striker and a bit of a maverick out on his own, didn’t want to train with the rest of the team but won us games on a Saturday.

“We’d win 1-0 and he’d almost always score! I used to say to the team, ‘look boys, if you want to win games and stay in this division, you don’t score, he scores so we’ve got to deal with it.”