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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 23:50 GMT
Eriksson angry at unruly England
Wayne Rooney confronts Michel Salgado during England's defeat
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted his side "lost their heads" in the 1-0 defeat against Spain.

"It was too competitive, especially for a friendly game," said Eriksson, who substituted striker Wayne Rooney just before before half-time.

"In the first half, I'm sorry to say, we lost our heads and when you do that it's difficult to come back.

"We came here to play football and it was not good from our side in the first half. It was better in the second."

Rooney was involved in a series of first-half incidents, and was booked for pushing Spain keeper Iker Casillas.

"His behaviour was not the best in the world. But I think he learned - he's young," said Eriksson.

England captain David Beckham dismissed suggestions that Rooney was becoming a 'loose cannon'.

"He's definitely not a loose cannon, Wayne. He's a young player, that's what everyone forgets," said Beckham.

We had to calm ourselves down, especially towards the end of the first half
England captain David Beckham
"He looks very mature and he carries himself very maturely on the pitch, but sometimes he's going to have that.

"We're going to have to accept that's in him and that's what makes him the player he is.

"Sometimes, of course, it boils over, but that comes with experience and it will come out of him."

Beckham added :"We had to calm ourselves down, especially towards the end of the first half.

"There were a few tackles flying in and a few of their players were getting upset.

"Once it starts then sometimes it carries on and it did until the end of the first half. But it was a lot calmer in the second half."

Michael Owen, Beckham's team-mate at Real Madrid, admitted England had been outplayed by a slick Spanish side.

"I think everyone suffered because they played particularly well and we didn't. Sometimes you get games like that and they are best forgotten," said Owen.

"They penned us back in and played good football. The worse a team gets the more the defence gets called into action and the strikers see less of the ball.

"I don't think we created a chance as a team."

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson saved a first-half penalty after he was adjudged to have brought down Raul, despite clearly appearing to connect with the ball.

"I took the ball very cleanly and it definitely was not a penalty and I was really pleased to save it," said Robinson.

"Once its given, it's given so you've just got to get on with it.

"They played particularly well. We weren't at the races in the first half, we were disjointed.

"But saying that they played really well. Second half we came out and made a better job of it."




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England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson


England captain David Beckham


PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor



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