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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Eriksson laughs off revolt

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
England coach Sven-Goran insists there was "no player revolt" over his team's tactics for the game with Switzerland.

Captain David Beckham said the players had asked Eriksson to play a flat-four rather than a diamond in midfield.

But Eriksson said: "I picked the team. I had meetings with the players of course - I started doing that in 1979 and have always had it with my teams.

"We tested both formations in training and I decided late in the evening before the game what to do."

Eriksson added: "Football is very simple in a way. I have to make the strategy as a coach and explain it to the players.

"I have to be sure the players understand it, accept it. I am not going onto the pitch - the players are.

"It's my job to make sure they are happy with what they are doing and are willing to do it."

England coach Steve McClaren also dismissed the claims and said: "I've just come from a meeting with Sven and we had a laugh about the allegation. I could not believe it.

"Only bad managers don't listen to their staff and players. You have to.

"One of the reasons we have such a good atmosphere is that everyone has a say. Believe me Sven picks the team," he told the BBC's Match of the Day.

Beckham revealed after the 3-0 victory: "The diamond was mentioned but we all decided and the manager decided that 4-4-2 was the best thing.

"The most important thing is that the manager listens to us and we told him what we were comfortable doing.

"He said 'I'm the manager and I'll obviously make the final decision but I'll listen to you as well'."



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