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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Eriksson praises England

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson emerged from England's victory over Wales with the satisfaction of a job well done and an experiment that worked.

Eriksson played a three-pronged strike force in Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Jermain Defoe and told BBC Sport: "I think it worked very well.

"All three played well and we had good balance in the team, and gave a good professional performance.

"We kept cool heads and that was important in such a game."

Eriksson added: "It wasn't easy, Wales defended very well, they didn't let our full-backs play at all, they went back with a lot of players and closed all the spaces.

"I think we did a good professional performance, we won and that was fair.

I thought the ball hit me and continued on the same path but it took quite a big deflection
England striker Michael Owen

"We should have scored more goals and Wales had one chance through Bellamy, so I'm very pleased."

The England coach also witnessed another wonder strike from skipper David Beckham, who curled in a spectacular angled shot from outside the penalty area.

Eriksson said: "It was a special goal. To find that shot was extremely good and the timing of it was good as well.

"As long as it was 1-0 you don't know what's happening but at 2-0 that closed the game."

Frank Lampard and Michael Owen both laid claim to England's first goal when the midfielder's shot took a deflection off Owen's heel to wrong-foot Wales goalkeeper Paul Jones.

Owen, who has struggled for goals since his move to Real Madrid, was keen to be credited with the goal to end his scoring drought.

Owen told BBC Sport: "It's inevitable that when you haven't scored for a while you get one off your backside

"Initially I thought the ball hit me and continued on the same path but it took quite a big deflection."

I was just pleased to be back playing again, I have waited a long time for this
England defender Rio Ferdinand

Lampard said: "I didn't realise until half-time that Michael got a touch.

"I wasn't bothered who got the credit as long as it went in."

The game also marked Rio Ferdinand's return to international action following his eight-month ban for missing a drugs test, forcing him to miss Euro 2004.

Manchester United defender Ferdinand said: "I was just pleased to be back playing again, I have waited a long time for this.

"I'm playing among a bunch of quality players and that helped ease me back into the side.

"Against a team like Wales who have players like Ryan Giggs and John Hartson, you have to remain on your toes for 90 minutes."

Interview: England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson

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