Tuesday, March 28, 2017

England can win Euro 2016 if the pressure stays off, says Eriksson

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Mar 2016

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Sven-Goran Eriksson believes England are capable of winning Euro 2016, though he hopes the media do not place too much pressure on Roy Hodgson’s men.

England have often stuttered on the big stage under great expectations, unable to progress beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament since reaching the semi-finals at Euro ’96, but while wary of past failures, there is a sense of hope led by a new generation.

After qualifying for June’s tournament with a 100 per cent record of 10 wins from as many matches, England’s stock rose further following Saturday’s stunning 3-2 comeback win over Germany in an international friendly.

Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier, who have just 17 caps between them, were all on target in Berlin as the tournament in France draws closer.

Former England boss Eriksson – now in charge of Chinese Super League powerhouse Shanghai SIPG having previously guided the nation to consecutive quarter-final berths at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as well as Euro 2004 – feels now could be the time for England to shine.

“The pressure on the English national team has always been very big at all the big tournaments,” Eriksson said in an interview with Omnisport.

“But during the last two years I think the pressure has gone now very much. They have a very talented team – a lot of young players.

“I hope the press don’t put too much pressure on them and hopefully they do well. I think they have a chance.”

Eriksson added: “Their qualification campaign was brilliant so why not in the final stage?”

England, who will face Netherlands in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday, have been drawn alongside Wales, Russia and Slovakia in Group B for Euro 2016.

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