Eriksson says Notts County role is greatest ever challenge

Sven-Goran Eriksson has set his sights on taking Notts County all the way to the Barclays Premier League after signing a five-year contract at Meadow Lane.

The former England boss was unveiled as director of football at the Coca-Cola League Two side today.

But the Swede, who guided England to two World Cup quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006, does not want to hang around in the bottom tier for long.

Eriksson said: "I always said I wanted to come back to the Premier League. I chose a little bit of a difficult way to do it I think. It will take a few years, but I think we will do it.

"I think it's the biggest football challenge of my life, trying to take Notts County back to the Premier League, but that's the target. The challenge is perhaps the most difficult football job I've had so far. But I am looking forward to it."

Eriksson, who confirmed he will be moving to Nottingham, revealed he was at first unsure about joining County.

He said: "When my agent asked me if I would be interested in Notts County I said I am not sure about that, but after listening to the people and seeing the project that they had I said 'yes'."

Eriksson, whose key responsibilities include building scouting network and setting up overseas links, will work alongside current coach Ian McParland.

He told today's press conference at Meadow Lane: "We have together to try to find good players if we want to leave League Two. We have to have good football players. Without good football players you can't reach the League One or the Championship."

Despite being taken over by a Middle Eastern group, Munto Finance, Eriksson said the club would continue to be sensible with their money.

The Swede added: "When this news (of his appointment) came out my phone was hot all the time. People all over the place are asking how much we can pay for players.

"You can't pay Premier League salaries to players in League Two. We all know that we have to be sensible.

"Players and a training ground are the key. If we don't have players and a training ground life is very difficult for the manager, almost impossible I would say."

Eriksson attempted to deflect questions he had joined the unfancied League Two club for financial reasons, explaining he was relishing the challenge of turning them into a top-flight club.

Asked why County fans should believe he would stay at the club for the duration of his five-year deal, the Swede said: "I signed a contract first of all. Secondly, if it was for the money I could have easily gone elsewhere for much, much more money.

"I'm not here for money, I am here for the challenge.

"I'm not here for the weather, or if the city is nice or not. If that was the case then I could have gone to Italy. I'm here for the big challenge and that's the truth."

He added: "Overall I'm here to deal with football matters and to build the club and to try and reach the Premier League.

"We are starting from almost the bottom and we will try to take it the whole way. Hopefully we will do it one day."

Eriksson admitted he knew little of the players in the bottom tier of the Football League, but said his high-profile status and expertise would help lure players.

"I have discussed players with him (McParland) and obviously I don't know the players. I don't know League Two at all," he admitted

"But yes I know players, I know agents. Already they have started phoning me from 4.30 this morning. I have had to switch my phone off.

"If we expect to reach the Premier League then we have to have an organisation that reflects a Premier League club."

Eriksson said he hoped his coaching career was not over.

"I hope not, I want to be in football for many, many years still but you never know," he said.

"I'm still hungry, I still love it. This job is something a little bit new for me but why not try it?"

McParland admitted Eriksson's arrival took him by surprise.

"When Peter (Trembling, County's executive chairman) told me I said 'it's not April is it?'. I had to pinch myself a little bit," said the Scot.

"We had a little chat. It's fantastic. He has a lot of knowledge of the game, he's been at top clubs around the world and managed England - though I won't hold that against him!

"But I'm sure he will bring a lot to the football club and we'll bounce things off each other."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions