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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Coventry's Swede dreams
Roland Nilsson knows Eriksson from Sweden
Roland Nilsson knows Eriksson from Sweden
Coventry City have followed in England's footsteps by giving a Swede the chance to succeed Gordon Strachan as Highfield Road boss.

Roland Nilsson, the 37-year-old former Sweden defender, will be in charge for the first time in Tuesday's League Cup second round tie at Peterborough, by which time he hopes to have spoken to England coach Sven Goran Eriksson.

Nilsson revealed he used to meet with Eriksson "over a cup of tea" when he visited Highfield Road last season.

"I played for (IFK) Gothenburg the season after Sven left but have still known him a long time," said Nilsson, whose appointment is on a temporary basis.

"I think I am a calm person, like him. But I can still be angry when I need to be.

Eriksson will get call
Eriksson will get call
"He is coaching at the highest level with the best players in the country. So my job will be very different to his.

"But I will still try and speak to him before we play Peterborough."

Strachan parted company with Coventry by "mutual consent", but instead of seeking an experienced replacement, Coventry chairman Bryan Richardson promoted Nilsson from player-coach to acting player-manager.

"I am very happy Roland has agreed to take over," said Richardson.

"Our former manager Ron Atkinson described him as one of the best professionals he ever worked with, and I can't see any reason why he shouldn't be a real success in the job.

"Having just been relegated from the premier league we have a squad of players well capable of taking us straight back up. Roland knows them all well and has their respect.

"I had a long chat with Gordon Strachan on Sunday following our 1-0 home defeat against Grimsby, and we just came to the same conclusion that maybe the time was right for a change. The decision was reached by genuine mutual consent.


My job will be very different to Sven's but I will still try and speak to him before we play Peterborough
Coventry caretaker boss Roland Nilsson
"Sometimes it only needs a fresh face in charge to do the trick and change things round."

Nilsson added: "It's going to be difficult combining managing and playing. But we'll see how it goes and take it from there.

"It was a big surprise when the chairman rang me on Sunday and asked me to take over as manager and my head is still spinning.

"I feel sorry for Gordon Strachan because no-one could be more committed to the job than he was.

"But we need to get going again and leave the past behind. I did a little bit of minor coaching when I was last in Sweden with Helsingborg. But this is a big step up for me and a great opportunity."

Links to more Worthington Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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