Sven Goran Eriksson has revealed that Sol Campbell is a doubt for Saturday's...
Sven Goran Eriksson has revealed that Sol Campbell is a doubt for Saturday's Euro qualifying opener...
Sven-Goran Eriksson has today spoken about the forthcoming qualifying matches against Slovakia and Macedonia.
The Swede's main concern is that a stomach bug has hit Sol Campbell and the Arsenal centre-back is a doubtful starter for the match in Bratislava.
Having already lost Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand for the Euro 2004 opener on Saturday following his knee operation, the news will come as a blow to the team.
Eriksson said "Sol Campbell is ill. He has a stomach problem and won't arrive today - hopefully he will tomorrow or the day after. The doctor is seeing him this morning."
Sven also explained why he had decided to leave Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer out of his squad. "I saw Lee Bowyer play a lot of games last season and I've seen him this season and I am sure he can play better football than he is at the moment so I have chosen other people.
"That is the only reason that he has been left out. I am sure he will play better in the future and he might be picked next time."
Blackburn's David Thompson has earned his first call-up, a reward for his outstanding form since joining Rovers from Coventry.
"I saw him twice recently and liked what I saw," said Eriksson. "He can play anywhere in midfield - on the left, on the right or in the middle. I think he deserves a chance and that's why he's been picked."
He is also delighted that Michael Owen is back on the goals trail but insisted he never doubted he would overcome his barren spell. "I have never been worried because you know sooner or later Michael Owen will start scoring goals again.
"It was good to see him get the hat-trick (against Manchester City) and another on Sunday (against Chelsea). It's good for him and good for England, hopefully."
Another injury scare came after Manchester United Premiership victory over Everton last night, as David Beckham needed an ice pack on a suspected calf injury.
Eriksson however, believes both his captain and the other players involved in the match will all be joining the squad today. "I think they are okay - the other Manchester United players except Rio. They will turn up later and we will see."
England's Head Coach said of Ferdinand, "The doctors saw him on Saturday and decided that they had to go into the knee and see the problem. I got that message on Saturday, it was left on my mobile when I was watching a game. If a player is injured then he has to have an operation. I can`t see any other way. There are no hard feelings about it."
With Joe Cole's return to the Under-21 squad Eriksson explainded, "I think Joe Cole can play much better football than he is doing at the moment, I am sure of it.
"When I go to see players I have to judge them. When they play better football the door is always open for them. The same goes for Michael Carrick."
But the England coach is confident he has a strong squad to select his side from.
"International football is never easy. We want the best team on Saturday because we need that. If we have the best team.... then I have always said I think we can beat anyone."
And Eriksson added a warning about Slovakia, claiming: "They may not be a famous team but it's a good team. I am happy to have a `real` game.
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