Steve McClaren has told his England players to prove to him they deserve their place in the new era. McClaren gathered his players for the first time since he took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Eriksson and David Beckham were missing but the squad was back at Manchester United's training ground where they prepared for the World Cup.

McClaren continued his theme about breaking with the past and searching for a new direction before his first match against Greece at Old Trafford tomorrow. The Football Association have sold only about half of the tickets for the match.

He promised to give the players a chance and Owen Hargreaves said: "It's not that long since we all saw each other - but it's a different team and a different time with a new manager.

"It's been only a few weeks but I think things have changed. We all know things will be different.

"Steve McClaren told us that everyone controls their own situation, that every player in the squad today has the opportunity to prove himself and keep his England shirt."

McClaren introduced his new backroom team to the players.

Middlesbrough coach Steve Round took the players on their warm-up and McClaren's assistant Terry Venables played a big part in the tactical work.

Sports psychologist Bill Beswick watched from the touchline as Ray Clemence worked with goalkeepers Paul Robinson, Chris Kirkland and Ben Foster.

Since naming his squad last Friday, McClaren has spoken about his desire to forge a team with pace and width. Steven Gerrard worked on the right of midfield and Stewart Downing on the left. Venables supervised the session, seeking to switch play out to the wings.

The coaching staff set up a drill with mini-nets in the four corners of the pitch and encouraged the players to score in those goals. The theory is that, when the mini-nets are taken out, the players will be accustomed to playing in the same areas and will drive into the corners, behind the full-backs.

New captain John Terry, Peter Crouch, Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher were rested after their efforts in the FA Community Shield on Sunday.

But McClaren's team selection in training offered clues to his plans for tomorrow night. Dean Ashton and Jermain Defoe were paired up front and Gerrard played on the right where he played regularly for Liverpool last season. Hargreaves and Lampard could be given the chance in central midfield with Downing offering balance on the left.

McClaren will probably stick with Eriksson's tried and tested back four of Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Terry and Ashley Cole.