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Hamren calm over Sweden future

Sweden coach Erik Hamren remains focused on guiding his side to the FIFA World Cup, rather than his individual future.

Hamren’s contract with Sweden expires after next year’s showpiece, and his side are currently preparing for the second leg of their UEFA qualifying play-off with Portugal having been beaten 1-0 in the first.

The 56-year-old wants to ensure any talk of a potentially premature departure is ended by Sweden sealing a place at Brazil 2014.

“It’s happened to me a few times before as a club coach, when you know that if we lose a game there’s not much left of the job,” he told a press conference on Monday.

“But I’m not thinking about that one bit. My focus is on succeeding and if we do succeed we don’t need to discuss it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo got the only goal in Lisbon on Friday, as Paulo Bento’s men gained the upper hand.

While the play-off has been labelled in some quarters as a clash between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, two of the best players in the world, Hamren is concentrating on the bigger picture.

“He (Zlatan) has been at this level for many, many years and for us it’s not Ronaldo versus Zlatan – it’s Portugal v Sweden,” Hamren continued.

“We need to score, that’s for sure. They (Portugal) can play more for the result; they have an advantage in that.

“We meet a really good team with really good international players, so we can’t start the match and just go forward and have the ambition to score easy and early because then they’re going to punish us quickly.”

Mon 18 November, 2013
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