'Be bold and lucky' Eriksson tells England

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The Independent Football

Sven Goran Eriksson has challenged his senior players to take a more bold approach on the pitch as they bid for success in the World Cup in Germany this year.

"Organisation is vital, but more important than 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 are the players, because they are doing the job out there," Eriksson said. "If you have players like Beckham, Zidane or Ronaldinho, they must have some freedom to create and invent. And you need players who can think for themselves rather than always looking to the coach. It's important players take responsibility for decision-making on the pitch."

Eriksson also appealed for "Lady Luck" to side with England at the World Cup after admitting that he was longing for a Trafalgar Square celebration party, à la England's Ashes and Rugby World Cup winners.

"England are at the same level as teams like Argentina, Brazil, Holland, Italy, Germany and France," the Swede said. "Then you also need a little bit of luck; no injuries and penalty shoot-outs are all-important."

Eriksson's wish for luck follows the disappointing defeat by Brazil and penalty shoot-out exit against Portugal at the past two major tournaments. "In both cases, the difference between England and Brazil, then Portugal, was very little, maybe nothing. But we are better now - much better. I would say England now have a team with good players who have the right experience, and that's why I think we have a chance to win the 2006 World Cup. The fans have dreamt about it for nearly 40 years and a lot of people now think we might have a chance to win something.

"It's extremely difficult to win a World Cup... But all our players saw what happened when England won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The team went to Trafalgar Square and hundreds of thousands of people came to cheer them. This country will go mad - beautifully mad - if we win the 2006 World Cup."