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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Defiant Eriksson vows to fight on
Sven-Goran Eriksson looks for answers on Wednesday night
Sven-Goran Eriksson insisted he would not quit as England coach after Wednesday's shock 1-0 qualifying defeat to Northern Ireland in Belfast.

"I'm not going to resign. I'm going to try to make it right. In October, win two games and we qualify," he said.

But he said he expected plenty of criticism for England's poor display.

"This is my worst experience as England manager because it's a qualification game. We shouldn't lose here. We should not even draw," said the Swede.

"We should win games like this. We didn't, so of course I'm very sorry, disappointed as the players are."

Daily Mail: Sack the Swede
Daily Star: Sack the Swede
The Mirror: Sack the clot
The Sun: Taxi for Eriksson
Daily Express: Sven's Irish joke
Guardian: England are humiliated
Daily Telegraph: England are humiliated
Independent: Humiliation
Times: Eriksson feels the heat after sad England's latest debacle
Racing Post: Shambles sees Eriksson slashed for sack
Eriksson, whose reported 4m-a-year contract runs until 2008, said it was "understandable" that some travelling fans were calling for him to go.

"If we lose to Northern Ireland, I can't argue with that. But sacking is up to the FA," he said.

Eriksson said England did not have the spirit to overcome Northern Ireland, but insisted he was happy with the players' approach.

"The attitude was better today than it was second half against Denmark, that's for sure," he said.

"But the result was worse than against Denmark. I'm not talking about the figures, 4-1 or 1-0.

"It's much worse to lose a qualification game 1-0 than it is to lose a friendly 4-1. Much, much worse.

"But we still have it in our hands and it is up to us in October to get six points."

Sven-Goran Eriksson
We have confidence in the manager - we believe that he is the right man for the job
David Beckham
England captain David Beckham said it was worrying to hear England fans at the ground calling for Eriksson's sacking but said the players were unified in their support for the Swede.

"We have confidence in the manager. We believe that he is the right man for the job," he said.

"Everyone have to come together, the backroom staff, the players, everybody. Eriksson's record in qualifiers is quite amazing.

"If we had won tonight that would have been seven wins on the trot."

Beckham admitted he understood the fans' frustrations.

"These people have paid a lot of money to come and watch us play tonight, I've said that every time we get fans travelling," he said.

"We love the way the fans are, but they are frustrated. That's hard for the manager to take, it's hard for the players to take. But we accept it."

Beckham admitted the defeat had been an "embarrassment" but insisted the team spirit in the camp was strong enough to see them qualify for next year's tournament.

"That is what this team's all about. We've always done that. Even when we have been criticised, we stick together," he said.

"Of course, tonight hurts more than any night. But we stick together."

And he said he was pleased the players still had their destiny in their own hands.

"That's all we can do to put it right - if we win the next two games we top the group. That's all we have to do."

Eriksson revealed he considered taking off Wayne Rooney at half-time after the Manchester United star lost his cool at the end of the first half.

Eriksson substituted Rooney in the friendly against Spain in November 2004 to save him from a dismissal.

"At half-time, it was discussed but it's always a pity to take off such an important player," said Eriksson.

"You know that he can win the game for you. So it's always a difficult decision to take. His discipline was good in the second half."

Beckham said he expected Rooney to learn from the experience.

"Wayne was frustrated tonight and he showed that. That's what happens in games like this," he said.

"If things are not going well the frustration shows and Wayne's a young player. But Wayne will handle that in his own way.

"He's at a club, he's got a manager that can control that."

Interview: England captain David Beckham

Interview: Sven-Goran Eriksson

Lunchtime Line
06 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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