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Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:36 UK

World Cup 2010: Eriksson waits on Ivory Coast squad

Sven-Goran Eriksson with members of the Ivory Coast squad at their training camp in Switzerland
Eriksson knows the weight of expectation from Ivorian fans

Some members of Ivory Coast's World Cup squad have met new coach Sven-Goran Eriksson for the first time.

But the Swede must wait until Monday before gathering the whole group together at their training camp in Switzerland.

That gives him just one week to decide who to drop from the Elephants' preliminary squad before the deadline of 1 June.

"We have to be quick, on the field and off the field," Eriksson said.

The coach has 13 players with him at the team base in Montreux - four goalkeepers and nine defenders.

"We have been able to practice defending a little," the former England and Mexico coach said.

"It's not the best of situations - I have 13 players for this week and we shall start to observe how they work.

"I will meet the other 17 on Monday - I've never worked with them, we have to be quick, on the field and off the field."

Eriksson replaced Vahid Halilhodzic, who was sacked following Ivory Coast's failure to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

Reaction to his appointment has been mixed, but Eriksson thinks his status as an outsider allows him to be objective when it comes to team selection.

"The players have been picked only on what I have seen and from speaking to managers and scouts."

The Elephants, who are appearing at their second successive World Cup finals, have been drawn against Brazil, North Korea and Portugal in Group G.

"The press and people in Ivory Coast expected in the past more than what the team has delivered, so the pressure is on the team and we have to handle that," Eriksson said.

"When you meet teams like Portugal and Brazil, who can keep the ball and are technically very, very good, you have to be organised, otherwise you will not have the ball and to win games you must have the ball."

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see also
Eriksson confirms Ivorian squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ivory Coast to look beyond Drogba
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Eriksson named Ivory Coast coach
29 Mar 10 |  African
Halilhodzic sacked by Ivory Coast
28 Feb 10 |  African
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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