Sven-Goran Eriksson details his biggest regret as England manager

Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted his biggest regret was not employing a mental coach to help his side during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

After they reached the quarter-finals in the 2002 World Cup and 2004 European Championships, England were considered among the favourites to win the 2006 tournament.

They were labelled as the ‘Golden generation’, with world-class players such as Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney supposedly at their peak.

After a series of largely uninspiring performances, however, England eventually crashed out at the quarter-finals yet again, losing on penalties to Portugal following a drab 0-0 draw.



Sven-Goran Eriksson and his team were devastated after losing to Portugal in 2006

Speaking to The Times Eriksson said he was hugely confident ahead of the tournament that England would win their first tournament since 1966.

“My biggest regret is not taking a mental coach [to Germany] but I was very confident and convinced [England would win],” Eriksson said.

“I remember Roberto Mancini phoned me, he said, ‘Sven, I’m putting my money on England’ and I told him, ‘You are right.”

Eriksson said there was also far too much pressure on the team ahead of that particular tournament, and that the manner in which the ‘Golden Generation’ were built up ultimately led to their downfall.

“I couldn’t — still can’t — see any team better than England in that World Cup,” he added.



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“We were unlucky with Rooney [being sent off against Portugal] but in my time the pressure was too high.

“The expectation when you went to those tournaments — you win and if you don’t win it’s sh*t. And too much talk about the Golden Generation. They were good but other teams had good players too.

“That, and penalties, was England’s problem.”

Eriksson went on to manage the likes of Manchester City and Leicester after his time as England boss, and is currently in charge of the Philippines.

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