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Bilic still unhappy with England response in defeat

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic admits he "loves England", but is still upset with the lack of humility shown by the Three Lions after their Euro2008 qualifier defeat.

"You guys always have to find excuses," he told the Daily Mail. "You are always trying to find the reason why you lost. It's easier to find a reason rather than simply admitting that you weren't very good.

"The easiest thing was to blame Steve McClaren and the whole story became 'It's all down to Steve McClaren'. Everyone, including the players, did that.

"I'm the biggest fan of England, in every way. I love the country, I love England, the football, the music, everything. My son is crazy about Chelsea and England.

"We went to games in the World Cup and he was so disappointed because England didn't play well against Trinidad and Tobago or Sweden.

"We beat you because we are better. In the games, the qualification, we were a better team than England. That's the end of the story.

"But it did get on our nerves. When you came to Zagreb, there was a bus that took you off the tarmac and straight to your hotel. No passport control, nothing.

"When we landed at Gatwick, immigration. It was a snake, like I don't know, 50 metres. And then they arrested our vice-president! F***ing hell! Why? He was in the paper shop and bought every paper.

"He wanted them all with £20 and he had them all under his arm when he saw some of our players walk past. He went out to tell the players to wait and he was arrested! He's 60!

"It's not arrogance. I understand you completely because I lived in England for a long time and I loved it. I loved London. When I tell this to the guys who never lived in England I tell them you ruled the world for centuries. You have a mighty nation and it's quite normal.

"But the reason we beat you is because we are better, we are better. And we are still better."

Bilic, who turned down an offer from Fulham, also revealed his amazing low wages he's on with Croatia.

Asked if reports of '£47,000 a year' really are true in this modern era of the football millionaire. "Less, less, less," he said. "That is about 75,000 euros and I'm on less than that.

"But nobody forced me to sign the contract, nobody put a gun to my head. I signed the contract. I didn't get enough money and I'm the first to say that it's a disgrace for Croatia. Not for Slaven Bilic but the Croatia football manager should be paid more money.

"There's no point in comparing it with Capello or McClaren. Money was never my big motivation. Money is important but if I leave it will not be for money. It will be a career move.

"I could have left by now if I just wanted money. It is about what is best for my career. I want to enjoy this and I am enjoying this big-time."

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Tribal Football Staff

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