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Eriksson 'happy' with England draw

Published: Friday 27 January 2006, 20.14CET
Group E: Sven-Göran Eriksson believes his successor as coach will be "happy" with a draw that pits England against Croatia, Russia and Israel.
Eriksson 'happy' with England draw
Paul Scholes celebrates after scoring for England against Croatia in Portugal ©Getty Images


Published: Friday 27 January 2006, 20.14CET

Eriksson 'happy' with England draw

Group E: Sven-Göran Eriksson believes his successor as coach will be "happy" with a draw that pits England against Croatia, Russia and Israel.

England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson will have left the job by the time England begin their Group E qualifying campaign for a place at UEFA EURO 2008™, but he insists his successor will be "happy" with a draw that pits England against Croatia, whom they defeated 4-2 at UEFA EURO 2004™, Russia, Israel, Estonia, F.Y.R. Macedonia and Andorra. rounds up the reaction.

England should be rather happy about the draw. It could have been much worse, for example, Group B with France, Italy and Ukraine and Group F with Sweden, Spain and Denmark - very, very difficult groups. As usual you look at less famous teams and you think it will be easy, but it will never be. Years ago when we played F.Y.R. Macedonia in a qualifier everyone thought it would be easy and we drew 2-2. However, the man who replaces me will be happy with this draw.
Sven-Göran Eriksson, England coach

I knew we would get England, I was predicting that. This is definitely a strong group, but our FIFA World Cup qualifying group was tough and we won it. It is obvious that England, Russia and Croatia will fight for the top two spots, but Israel are also a good side. However, I believe in my players and we will reach the EURO finals.
Zlatko Kranjčar, Croatia coach

It could have been better, but also worse. We can play to win against any of these teams. Aside from England and Croatia, we will face a solid Israel side and F.Y.R. Macedonia who are decent opponents too. We just have to go out there and win.
Vitali Mutko, Football Union of Russia president

At first glance it's a tough draw, with England as well as Croatia and Russia. I know that in football anything can happen, but it looks pretty tough. However, it will be an experience for the fans and players in particular - that is without even mentioning playing at Wembley.
Avi Nimny, Israel captain

It's an interesting group and a good challenge for Estonian football. It's nice to be facing England, a great football nation, and to be meeting our neighbours Russia again – having played them in World Cup qualifying. We will aim to carry on where we left off in those qualifiers and pick up some results.
Jelle Goes, Estonia coach

It's a very strong group, with England, Croatia and Russia. But fortunately for us, sometimes strange things happen in football and I will be happy if something unexpected happens to us.
David Rodrigo, Andorra coach

Last updated: 27/02/08 15.44CET

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