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Page last updated at 05:41 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 06:41 UK

Eriksson lured by English passion

Sven-Goran Eriksson
If you asked me one month ago that I should be in Notts County today I wouldn't have believed it myself

Sven-Goran Eriksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson says the passion and love for football in England was a key factor in his decision to take over as Notts County director of football.

The former England manager's move to Meadow Lane stunned football when it was announced last week.

And in his first interview since taking up his role, Eriksson told BBC Radio Nottingham he cannot wait to start.

Eriksson said: "It smells football in England wherever you go. The passion is fantastic - that is what I love."

Eriksson admits he was initially sceptical about being involved with a struggling League Two side.

But Munto Finance - the Middle-Eastern consortium which has taken over - is determined to make the Magpies a Premier League club and Eriksson is eager to play his part in taking them there.

"I came and listened to the project and that's what made me change my mind," he said.

"If you asked me one month ago that I should be in Notts County today I wouldn't have believed it myself but everything was very quick.

"It's a fantastic project taking a club from almost the bottom and trying to make it a Premier League club in rather quick time - they are talking about five or six years.

"To take part in that project, I am honoured and that's the reason why I am here.

"I think it's achievable and if I hadn't thought so I wouldn't have been here."

But he is well aware success will involve a lot of hard work - both on and off the pitch.

The Swede will take charge of transfer negotiations and scouting, health, fitness and development of players, training facilities, the youth academy and establishing community and overseas links.

Eriksson explained: "You have to have a little bit of patience, you have to build up the club from the ground. We need a training ground and an academy in the future - we need a lot of things.

"It will cost money - you cannot reach the Premier League without money - that's a fact."

606: DEBATE
monkeywoods

But despite the obvious need for a complete overhaul of the club behind the scenes, Eriksson has been encouraged by what he has seen from manager Ian McParland's team.

Notts beat local rivals Nottingham Forest 2-1 last Saturday - the first game in the Eriksson era.

And they followed that up with another impressive display in the 3-2 defeat against Derby County in midweek.

"The standard of the football the first team have been playing was better than I thought," Eriksson said.

"We have a team who try to play football, some very good players - but taking in some more we have to do because the squad is very short for 46 league games plus cup games.

"The stadium here is a good stadium for the level we are and the pitch is fantastic - you can compare it with any Premier League pitch so you can't have any excuses if you pass the ball badly here."

However, there will still be more signings as the club look to give themselves every chance of promotion this season.

"We have ongoing discussions every day," Eriksson said.

"We have all of August to do business and we must bring in players because the target is promotion this season.

Sven-Goran Eriksson (left) and BBC Radio Nottingham's Colin Slater
Sven-Goran Eriksson and the BBC's long-serving Notts commentator Colin Slater

"We have to concentrate on trying to take the right players. The squad is very short and we don't have enough players if we have the target to be promoted."

But he insists there is no danger of the club taking a short-sighted approach as they look to realise their Premier League dream.

"Longer term, we need scouting systems, we need to create an academy, and we need a place to train and I know there are people working to find the right place to build a training ground," Eriksson said.

"It's expensive to create this but if you want to be successful you have to have it."



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