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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Nicol happy with New England life
By John Sinnott

Steve Nicol
Nicol has been in charge of New England for five years
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol says he would love to coach the United States national team but doubts he will succeed former boss Bruce Arena.

US Soccer is expected to make an appointment next month, with Jurgen Klinsmann the strong favourite.

"I'd be crazy not to be interested, but I think it's done and dusted," the 44-year-old New England Revolution coach Nicol told BBC Sport.

"Hopefully my time will come but I won't sit up worrying about it."

I never rule anything in and never rule anything out

Steve Nicol

Reportedly on the shortlist to succeed Arena, Nicol is the most successful coach in the New England Revolution's 10-year history and has led them to the MLS Cup final twice.

He has also guided the club to five successive play-offs and is busily preparing New England to face Chicago in a first-round play-off on Sunday.

Nicol added: "I'm a real believer in getting on with the job you have - anything that happens in the future is dictated by what you do now.

"And now we're in the play-offs, trying to win the Championship."

Despite his success in America, Nicol has had minimal interest from British clubs trying to lure him back home.

"I've never really put myself in the shop window," said Nicol.

"People ask me whether I'm coming home, but my son has one more year at college and that was a big part of me coming here as regards their education.

"I've got a good job, a good team, and I enjoy what I'm doing.

"I just try and do my best every day of the week, and not look too far ahead. It's the old Liverpool style - you get it done and everything else comes to you.

"Things change so quickly in football so I never rule anything in and never rule anything out."

Nicol, whose assistant at New England is former Ipswich striker Paul Mariner, attributes a large part of his success to trying to make training as enjoyable as possible for his players.

Chris Rolfe
Chicago Fire striker Chris Rolfe has impressed Nicol

"We're all a bunch of kids who want to play football, though obviously it becomes a bit more serious at this level.

"It's about creating an environment where they give their all and do their best.

"If you have 11 players doing that at one time then a good percentage of the time you're going to be successful."

Nicol, who is glued to his television screen every Saturday watching British and European games, equates the standard of football in the MLS to that of English Championship sides.

"In America the kids don't leave school until they are 22, so they lose out on a couple years of development.

"Back home between the ages of 18 and 22 is when you see who is going to make it and who is not.

"MLS is only 10 years old. It's a long way off the standard of the Premier League.

"Kids are now thinking of going straight into professional football, but you're fighting against a cultural barrier of parents wanting their kids to go to college."

Mention MLS and it does not take long before the conversation comes round to the potential of DC United's Freddy Adu, who has long been linked with a move to England.

But Nicol also has high hopes of Chigaco Fire striker Chris Rolfe.

"He has a real striker's brain, scores goal, and links up with players well.

"He is somebody that I think will push through and make his mark in the national team."

SEE ALSO
Nicol backs Kraft for Liverpool
16 Nov 05 |  Liverpool
Nicol wins top coaching award
17 Oct 02 |  Football


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