Eriksson appointed Mexico boss

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The Independent Online

Former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson has been appointed the new head coach of Mexico.

Eriksson's appointment was announced by the Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean.

The committee of the owners of the 18 top-flight teams unanimously approved the 60-year-old Swede as the successor to Hugo Sanchez, who was sacked in March for failing to guide the under-23 side to the Olympics.

Eriksson, speaking in Spanish, said: "I want to thank the Mexican Football Federation for their confidence and support.

"Our goal is (to qualify to) the 2010 World Cup and try to do it better than in the past."

Eriksson claimed he was excited by the challenge of helping Mexico reach the World Cup in South Africa.

He said: "Mexico is a big, big job. To help Mexico reach the World Cup is a big challenge. You (Mexicans) have 120 million people and it's motivating."

The Swede's appointment has come in for criticism among some members of the Mexico side.

Carlos Salcido claimed he does not think a coach who cannot speak fluent Spanish should take over in the middle of a World Cup qualifying campaign.

And Andres Guardado feels interim boss Jesus Ramirez - who has taken charge of the side since the dismissal of Sanchez - should stay at least as Eriksson's assistant given his knowledge of the squad.

But Eriksson insisted he was ready to prove his critics wrong.

"I like big challenges so it is up to me to convince the supporters and the players that I am the right man," he added.

"Mexico is a big challenge and that's why I am here."

The incoming coach admitted his main task will be to try to get the most out of the Mexican squad, but insisted he did not think there was a problem with their attitude.

"I will try to make a very strong team. That's my policy," he said. "My job in Mexico will be to improve the job the players have been doing and not to change their mentality."

But he added: "I don't think it is very good for me to talk about the team now."

Eriksson will not officially take up his post until June 21, when Mexico host Belize Monterrey in the second leg of the second round of World Cup qualifiers.

Until then Ramirez will remain in temporary charge for the matches against Argentina on June 4, Peru on June 8 and the first leg with Belize in Houston on June 15.

Compean did reveal though that Eriksson would live in Mexico.

The Swede, who arrived at the Femexfut head offices at 10am local time today, refused to talk about possible selections as long as Ramirez remained in temporary charge.

He said: "I dont want to talk too much about players as I don't think it is professional. There is another coach still working."

Femexfut secretary general Decio de Maria added: "The rest of the technical staff will be Mexican and they will be announced in the upcoming three or four weeks."

Eriksson left Manchester City earlier this week despite still having three years to run on his contract.

He became the first foreign coach to manage England when he took over from Kevin Keegan in 2001 and guided the team to two successive World Cup quarter-final appearances before leaving after the 2006 tournament in Germany.

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