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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Gerrard may play in forward role
Eriksson (left) with Gerrard
Eriksson (left) has not decided on Gerrard's role yet
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson says he has not ruled out the possibility of using Steven Gerrard as a striker at the World Cup finals.

With Wayne Rooney a doubt with a broken foot and Michael Owen only just back from a similar injury, Gerrard has been touted for a forward role.

Eriksson said: "Steven Gerrard can play in a lot of positions and one is as a second striker.

"I'm sure he could play as first striker but a lot depends on Rooney."

Manchester United star Rooney is almost certain to miss the group stages of the tournament and is thought to be a doubt for the knockout after suffering a broken metatarsal last month.

Gerrard has scored 23 goals for Liverpool this season and calls for him to be given a more forward position were increased after his two-goal performance in the FA Cup final win over West Ham.

Eriksson added: "I have known for many years that Gerrard can play in a lot of positions.

"We haven't decided yet but he's useful wherever he plays. After 25 May we will know much better what's happening with Wayne Rooney.

"I hope we play with Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen but once again Steven Gerrard is an option there."

Eriksson said he had no regrets about the gamble in picking Arsenal's teenage striker Theo Walcott as one of his four strikers.

The Swede added: "He looks to be very bright. It's not easy for him, of course, to settle in with a lot of good football players. It's a gamble and I'm happy I did it.

"He seems very stable and is just a young boy and of course he is happy to be here."

I'm very confident that he will be absolutely perfect for the World Cup
Sven-Goran Eriksson on Michael Owen
Owen said Walcott had been welcomed by the rest of the England squad.

He said: "It's inevitable that when you first join up you're going to be nervous. But that's the great thing with this England team.

"As soon as a new face comes in everyone is quick to welcome them.

"We have been together two or three days now you can see him starting to relax a bit.

"Hopefully by the time the World Cup comes round he will be relaxed enough to do well and have an impact on the tournament."

Eriksson was delighted to see Newcastle forward Owen looking sharp in training.

"He's very important and he looked 100% fit yesterday and today," he said.

"I'm very confident that he will be absolutely perfect for the World Cup and very, very hungry."



SEE ALSO
England training photos
17 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
England team guide
27 Apr 06 |  England
World Cup fixtures
09 Dec 05 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage


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