Sven diplomatic over Smith
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sven Goran Eriksson has admitted he was to blame for the Alan Smith mix-up.
Sven Goran Eriksson has shouldered a proportion of the blame for a mix-up over Alan Smith's exclusion from the latest England squad, admitting 'it is a little bit my fault'.
Smith was overlooked by Eriksson as the Swede initially opted to pick Crystal Palace's Andrew Johnson.
The Manchester United striker then turned down the chance to replace Johnson in the England squad, preferring to play 90 minutes for the Red Devils reserves in order to improve his fitness.
The decision sparked rumours of an ongoing fall-out between Smith and Eriksson, after the former Leeds man clearly expressed his discontent at his lack of involvement in last season's tour to America.
However, the diplomatic Eriksson revealed on Tuesday that he was not aware of Smith's lack of fitness before he contacted the player for the call-up.
"I didn't check up on how many games he'd played, but I talked to the fitness coach and he was very keen he should play 90 minutes, so it's a little bit my fault," admitted Eriksson.
Premiership newcomer Darren Bent has been called up to replace Johnson, who was forced to withdraw from the squad with a hamstring injury.