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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK
Defoe delights Eriksson
England debutant Jermain Defoe
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson singled out Jermain Defoe as the major plus point after his side's lacklustre 1-0 friendly defeat to Sweden.

"Jermain Defoe did very well - I liked what I saw," Eriksson told BBC Radio Five Live after the Spurs striker's highly promising debut.

"He showed that he can do very well even in international football and that he is technically very good.

"Jermain is quick and he knows where the goal is, so I liked him very much."

Eriksson stuck to his policy of wholesale changes, making a total of eight substitutions, and the Swede admitted England turned in another disjointed performance in the second half.

"I think we did well and created plenty of chances," said Eriksson.

"In the second half we didn't play that well - Sweden showed that they were physically stronger than us and we suffered.

"They scored a goal and had chances to score more. But over 90 minutes I think a draw would have been a fairer result, but that's football."

Despite the setback of another friendly defeat, Eriksson insisted England were still on course for a strong showing in June's European Championships.

"I'm still very optimistic for Euro 2004 - this result doesn't disturb me at all," he said.

"I was not that happy about the second half but it was a very young team and they have never played together before, so I'm not worried about that."

BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"The game was pretty appalling - largely lifeless and disjointed"

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"Sweden were physically stronger in the second half"

Defoe stakes his claim
01 Apr 04  |  England

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