Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm Staying Calm: Sven

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm Staying Calm: Sven

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Sven-GUran Eriksson is convinced he is the man who will lead England to World Cup glory after he was again forced to defend his calm and collected management style on the eve of their quarter-final clash with Portugal.

There are some who would like to see the relaxed Swede send his players out this afternoon with a rousing motivational speech ( but Eriksson has refused to change his approach for the game which will determine whether his five-and-a-half years in charge are a success or failure.

If England lose in a second successive tournament to Portugal at this stage, Eriksson will have failed to bring any significant improvement in results with a squad many believe is the most talented since England defended its World Cup crown in Mexico 36 years ago.

"It will not be my last game in charge, I've never thought of it like that," said Eriksson, who will vacate his position when England leave Germany. "I strongly believe we will win against Portugal.

"There are a lot of leaders in the world you have to admire: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela. But I'm not one of them, I am myself, Sven-GUran Eriksson, good or bad. There will be no Winston Churchill-style speeches from me and I will not go to bed tonight reading Winston Churchill's memoirs.

"If I stand there screaming and shouting in the dressing room before the game or at half time, I don't think it will make the players play any better. But if I am constructive, saying the right things at the right moment about how we are going to play, hopefully they will play better football. That is my way. "We have a good team and we have the quality to go all the way, I'm sure about that. We will play a very good game against Portugal, I feel that."

Eriksson has always maintained, throughout his various problems during qualification ( most notably the humiliating 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in Belfast ( and here in Germany, this is the best side he has ever worked with and one which can win the World Cup. …

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