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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Eriksson rues French loss
Sven-Goran Eriksson
I had always been convinced that we were one of the teams that could win this
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson said his biggest Euro 2004 regret was the "madness" at the end of England's match with France.

The England coach said France's injury-time goals still haunted him, maybe even more than losing on penalties in the quarter-final.

"There is the penalty shoot-out but the last three minutes against France were awful. Complete madness," he said.

But the Swede praised the impact of Wayne Rooney and Arsenal duo Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole.

"Sol Campbell is a rock, he is incredible. He could have been our match-winner against Portugal, perhaps should have been," he said.

"Ashley Cole also had an extremely good tournament. But I think all of the players did well for us.

"You might say that some of them could have been more brilliant. Okay, I can agree with that. But as a team, they worked very well together."

Eriksson also defended captain David Beckham after criticism of his lack of real impact at the tournament.

"He was one of four or five players who needed a bit of extra fitness work at our training camp in Sardinia, but he worked very hard," said the Swede.

"We've seen Beckham better as an individual player but he did very well for us with his discipline.

"Very seldom do you see that sort of discipline from a player. He stayed in his position and did what we asked him to do."

Eriksson said he felt more disappointed at defeat in Portugal than he did after England's exit from the 2002 World Cup.

"When we went to the World Cup, I don't know if we said we could win it, or should win it, although during the tournament, we started to believe that it could be possible," he said.

"Here though, I had always been convinced that we were one of the teams that could win it.

"We didn't and I'm very sorry about that."





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