Robbo: We wanted Sven stay
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
England's Paul Robinson has launched a robust defence of Sven Goran Eriksson.
England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has launched a robust defence of Three Lions coach Sven Goran Eriksson, insisting the squad wanted the Swede to see out his contract with the World Cup hopefuls.
Eriksson announced he would be leaving his post after the World Cup finals in Germany in the wake of a tabloid sting that exposed indiscreet remarks he made about some of his senior players.
However, despite the potential embarrassing nature of the 'fake Sheikh' debacle, Eriksson's players have rallied round their boss - with Robinson the latest to pledge his support for the former Lazio chief.
Robinson, who has emerged as England's firm number one under Eriksson, has revealed the squad were keen for their manager to stay on until the end of his contract and that his team-mates are determined to perform well in Germany as a fitting send-off for the Swede.
"We would all have liked the manager to stay. He has done very well. We wanted him to stay until the end of his contract," said Robinson.
"It is disappointing because of the circumstances that have forced him to leave and we are all going to do well for Sven during the World Cup.
"All the players have got a good relationship with him. I respect him because he gave me my chance and he has stayed with me for a long time.
"The perception the public will have of him is purely via television and the media and that's the worst thing about being a footballer. People judge you without knowing you.
"But Sven is a genuine man and a nice person and most importantly he has also done a very good job over the last four or five years."
Robinson also made his feelings clear about the nature of the tabloid sting that caused Eriksson to set his departure date - stating it was ill-timed with the World Cup fast approaching.
"To go to that extent to stitch someone up, if you like, is disappointing in a year where we should all be getting together and behind the team," Robinson continued.
"Everyone should be wanting the team to do well and not go to that length to cause disruption. It came out of nothing. It came as a shock to everybody. We couldn't believe it to start with."
The Tottenham shot stopper is also convinced that Eriksson's comments about some of his squad, including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and David Beckham, has had no affect on his relationship with the squad.
"It is a difficult situation for someone to be put in, to talk about other players. You don't know exactly what was said and what wasn't said, and no-one will.
"It is a difficult situation for the manager to be in and it's a difficult situation for the players to be in but we just want to forget about it now and concentrate on the World Cup.
"Would the players have held it against him? No, I don't think so. Everyone makes mistakes. He is our manager and we want to do well for him and we trust him."