Sven - Gerrard's had wake-up call
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Swede faced the press with his usual aplomb, and spoke on a number of subjects as his team settle into a leisurely retreat, rather than go through a farcical friendly involving a number of substitutions.
"Gerrard's an extremely good footballer and obviously he's not playing as well as they want him to," he admitted, when asked about the Merseysider's apparent dip in form.
"Perhaps the manager wants to wake up some of his young players, but I don't know the reason behind it as I haven't spoken to Gerard Houllier or Gerrard.
"There's been no change in his character. But the last time I had him was a long time ago.
"The problem is between them and they need to resolve it, it's not something for me to get involved in.
"I think he can play better (than he did against Macedonia), as you expect great, great things from Gerrard because you know what he can do."
Meanwhile, keeper David James did his prospects no harm with an impressive late show against Manchester United for West Ham on Sunday, although he was concerned Eriksson may have missed the saves.
"We have goalkeepers," stressed the England boss. "David Seaman is injured, unfortunately, but we also have James, (Paul) Robinson and (Chris) Kirkland, even if he's not playing in the first team.
"I saw James's saves on television afterwards as I wasn't there for the last five minutes."
As the search goes on for a replacement for Steve McClaren, Eriksson had praise for his midfielder at Middlesbrough, Jonathan Greening, who earned his first senior call-up to the squad.
"We are working (on the McClaren replacement) but we will have that done before February so we have a lot of time," he affirmed.
"David Beckham is coming tomorrow. That was a pity (his rib injury), of course, but he's coming with us to Buckingham Palace.
"I talked to some of the managers and they were very happy. They were much happier with a get-together than a friendly game, and I haven't heard anything negative from them.
"I saw Greening a couple of times, and had reports from the scouts, saying he is doing very well so it will be interesting to see him together with us.
"I had a meeting with the Premier League chairmen and they assured me I had their 100 percent support, which was very nice to hear, but I guess it was like that before Adam Crozier went, so nothing has changed, I hope.
"I hope Adam comes to Buckingham Palace as it'll be very nice but he said he might, he might not."
The former Lazio coach is confident England can still win their Euro 2004 qualifying group, despite the fact that Turkey are in pole position.
"I think we can win the group but we must do better than we did against Macedonia," he suggested.
"We must score goals, and the crucial game is the one against Turkey.
"We must beat them at home.
"We are preparing for that, as usual, but I know it will be the crucial game.
"If we can beat them, I know we can win the group."