Eriksson reassures fans of commitment

ENGLAND coach Sven-Goran Eriksson insists he remains “100% committed” to the England job and believes his relationship with the players “has not been damaged in any way” by revelations in a Sunday newspaper.

The FA have confirmed their support for the Swede who told an undercover reporter - posing as a rich Arab - that he’d quit as England coach if they win the World Cup and suggested he’d be prepared to become manager of Aston Villa as part of a hypothetical takeover.

Days after stressing the importance of creating the right “ambience” when he took over five years ago, Eriksson made indiscreet comments about Michael Owen, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney. But the FA have given the 57-year-old their “full support.”

Eriksson said: “I would like to assure everyone, especially the fans, that I’m 100% committed to the England job. I’ve told The FA this and I value the great support I’ve received from them.

“I have spoken with the players concerned and I have been very pleased with their reaction and am confident my relationship with them has not been damaged in any way.”

An FA statement read: “Following reports in the News of the World, the Football Association can confirm that England Head Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson continues to have the full support of the organisation.

“This follows conversations between FA chief executive Brian Barwick and Sven, and subsequent conversations involving Brian with FA chairman Geoff Thompson, International Committee chairman Noel White and senior FA figures.”

It remains to be seen what effect the revelations will have on his players ahead of the World Cup finals.

Eriksson said of Ferdinand: “He is lazy sometimes,” and then, referring to Ferdinand’s United team-mate Rooney, he talked of the player having a “temper” and “coming from a poor family.”

Eriksson said skipper Beckham was “a bit frustrated” at Real Madrid and that he would be able to phone the England captain to persuade him to return to English football with Villa.

And Eriksson also made reference to Owen, who joined Newcastle in a £17m transfer from Real Madrid in August after a deal could not be struck with his former club Liverpool.

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