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World Cup: Trust Englang Coach Eriksson

June 27, 2006

BADEN-BADEN, Germany (AP) _ Trust me. ``You have to _ you don’t have any choice,″ England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said after his team advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup with a scrappy 1-0 win over Ecuador.

Despite Sunday’s narrow win and questions concerning his decision-making, Eriksson only wanted to focus on his team’s positives.

``I don’t remember any team who started the World Cup in a perfect way and won all seven games and did it with style every time,″ Eriksson said. ``And I think you have to suffer in a tournament like this.

``Look at Argentina against Mexico on Saturday. They couldn’t resolve the situation in 90 minutes against Mexico.″

Eriksson tried a 4-5-1 formation against Ecuador, with Wayne Rooney as the sole striker. He might recall Peter Crouch to partner with Rooney and convert back to a 4-4-2 for Saturday’s quarterfinal match against Portugal.

Or not.

``If you remember, we tried it in the past some times, even recently, because I always said that at some point in the tournament I thought it would be the right way to play,″ Eriksson said. ``We will decide during the week if we should stick to it or go back to 4-4-2.″

While the five-man midfield was supposed to give Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard more opportunities to go forward, England scored off David Beckham’s free kick.

``They have more freedom to come and they could both have scored against Ecuador,″ Eriksson said. ``Frank could have scored certainly. I’m not concerned. He creates a lot of occasions, and hopefully from the quarterfinals onwards he will put them in the net.″

Beckham vomited because of dehydration just after he scored. He didn’t say he was feeling ill before the game, but Eriksson wasn’t surprised.

``Probably because he wanted to play,″ Eriksson said. ``It’s not a concern that he didn’t say anything to me before the game.

``If he had been injured and couldn’t run fully, then it’s something he should be telling me. I think it was a stomach bug _ maybe he was drinking too much water.″

Eriksson was also impressed with Rooney’s return from a broken foot.

``He played very well in the role alone up front,″ Eriksson said. ``He held the ball up and he will get better and better. That worked very, very well. If we want to play like this, of course we have to give him more support all the time.

``Physically he is getting better and better. The touch might be slightly off sometimes, but that takes time and he is still coming back after the injury.″

Eriksson is just happy that England has gotten to the final eight without playing well.

``We haven’t played our best football yet and we’re in the quarterfinals. I think that is a bit strange,″ Eriksson said. ``Maybe we don’t look like world champions yet, but perhaps in two weeks time we will. We can’t be world champions today.″

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