Eriksson: The job I could not refuse

New England coach says he has the best job in football at his first meeting with the press
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The Independent Football

Sven-Goran Eriksson has said he hopes Italian club Lazio will allow him to take temporary charge of England for three World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.

Sven-Goran Eriksson has said he hopes Italian club Lazio will allow him to take temporary charge of England for three World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.

"We have a lot of time to talk," Eriksson, whose contract with England doesn't begin until July, told reporters on his first appearance in England since being appointed as national coach this week.

"At this moment I am not sure. I am hopeful. I think it might happen," he said.

Lazio has so far insisted that Eriksson see out the remainder of his contract with the Italian champion, which runs until the end of June. But the Swede wants to be released for England's critical next games against Finland, on March 24, Albania, on March 28, and Greece, on June 6.

Eriksson said the England job was one he couldn't turn down.

"You can't say 'no' when you have been offered the job of manager of England. It is so big, and has so much prestige" he said.

Asked if he thought England can still qualify for the World Cup, Eriksson said: "Of course England can qualify. You do not give up until you are mathematically out. You have to think you can do it."

England coach Kevin Keegan resigned in September after a 1-0 defeat at home to Germany in the World Cup qualifiers. England then could only manage a 0-0 draw in Finland, and currently lie bottom of its group.

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