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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 04:49 GMT 05:49 UK
Defiant Eriksson battles on
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson insists he has no plans to quit as England coach, despite speculation he could be sacked if his side do not win in Poland on Wednesday.

Eriksson is under more pressure after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Austria, when England squandered a two-goal lead.

"The only way I'll leave is if we don't qualify for the 2006 World Cup - you'll have to put up with me until 2008.

"I'm positive that I will not be leaving and I am quite sure that we will reach the World Cup."

And he insists he will not make mass changes, despite widespread criticism of the team and David James' calamitous error.

He said: "The worst thing I could do now is panic, changing five players for Wednesday - taking out Owen, Beckham, whoever.

"I will stick to the same formation more or less. There will be no revolution. I trust the players. I know they are the best."

Eriksson is confident England will bounce back from the disappointment of Vienna with victory in Poland.

"If we play as we did in the first half against Austria I don't think we'll lose too many games or points," he added.

"If we beat Poland then four points from two games is not too bad."

Eriksson reiterated his backing for goalkeeper David James, who let a low shot from Andreas Ivanschitz squirm under his body for the equaliser against Austria.

When we lose we have to take the responsibility - all of us
Sven-Goran Eriksson

Asked if James would play against the Poles, Eriksson said: "I said on Saturday I was quite sure he will play on Wednesday and so far nothing has changed. The line-up will be done on Wednesday."

The Swede also confirmed that Chelsea's Wayne Bridge took a knock on his Achilles tendon but added: "The doctor thinks he will be available on Wednesday."

Eriksson still believes England can be top of Group Six after the Poland game.

"We have to win to be top of the group and if we can do that it will not be too bad to have four points from two away games," he stated.

However, Eriksson did admit his frustration at England's inability to protect a lead in recent competitive games.

"It's happened too often. That is something we have to discuss and talk about and we'll do that before the Poland game.

"If you see how we played on Saturday we did not underperform. If you look at the result then we did underperform - it's frustrating.

"When you win a football game it's all the group - coaches, players, managers, staff. When we lose we have to take the responsibility - all of us, not just one player.

"Of course I take responsibility."

However England defender Gary Neville was quick to spring to Eriksson's defence.

"That is nothing to do with the manager. Why will questions be asked of the manager? Ask questions of the players on the pitch. Blame it on the players. Was the manager out there?

"We are the same players who were in control for three quarters of the game. How can the manager be brought into the equation after the match when that has happened? It is down to the players.

David Beckham added it was important England picked up three points in Poland.

"Because of the draw in Austria, it puts more pressure on us as a team to win on Wednesday because two points or one point out of two games is definitely not good enough."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson



Interview: England captain David Beckham



Interview: England keeper David James




SEE ALSO
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04 Sep 04  |  England
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05 Sep 04  |  Internationals
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06 Sep 04  |  Internationals


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