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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 March, 2005, 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK
Eriksson heralds 'mature' England

Sven-Goran Eriksson was delighted with a win against Azerbaijan, despite England's narrow margin of victory in the World Cup qualifier.

England missed a host of chances before second-half goals from Steven Gerrard and David Beckham secured a 2-0 win.

And coach Eriksson said: "We created a lot of chances, but we were patient and didn't lose confidence, which is the sign of a mature team.

"I don't know how many goals we could have scored, but we're happy to win."

Eriksson added: "The important thing is that we played good football against Northern Ireland on Saturday and again here.

"We played very well in the first-half, even when we didn't score. We didn't do anything stupid and no-one tried to play for themselves."

England captain David Beckham, criticised for his display against Northern Ireland, was delighted.

He said: "I'm pleased with my performance but the performance of the team was exceptional.

"People expected us to go out there and win 10-0, 11-0 or 12-0 and that does not happen.

"We set out to win the game and get six points from two games and we did that having beaten Northern Ireland.

"It is not difficult to deal with criticism, because if you choose not to listen to it you carry on with your life and football and carry on enjoying it.

"You know when you have played well and when you have not, but it is all about the team's performance, not individuals, and it was about the team's performance here.

"There was some satisfaction after hearing some of the comments after the last game but you have to take the rough with the smooth and play with a smile on your face."

England's other goalscorer Gerrard admitted: "It was difficult. Azerbaijan weren't the toughest opponents but we had to be professional and get the win and it was a shame we didn't get more goals.

"I think when you play opposition like this it is important to score early. Because it took a while to come it got frustrating and you start to try more things which don't come off.

"We are in the driving seat and we have still got to play Poland at home and we are confident we can win the group."

"My goal was a bit of a mis-hit. I hit it into the floor. It was nice to get a goal because it was getting a bit frustrating out there the with all the chances."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson


Interview: England skipper David Beckham


Interview: England midfielder Steven Gerrard




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