Sven feels Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing could be England's left-sided solution at the 2006 World Cup.
Sven-Goran Eriksson says Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing could hold the key to England's left-sided problem at next year's World Cup.
The England head coach says Downing could be ready for the national team by the time the tournament starts in Germany in 2006.
Downing has so far won one cap, in February's friendly against Holland, but could be involved in England's summer tour to the USA.
And Sven says he could be a surprise package and force his way into regular contention - just as Chelsea's Joe Cole did this season.
Eriksson was invited to field questions from a forum of England fans picked by sponsorship partner Carlsberg to have a training session with the Three Lions Head Coach at West Ham's Upton Park.
And when asked about the Middlesbrough winger, he said: "Stewart Downing could be ready for the World Cup.
"You never know when he could be ready. Before I picked Joe Cole and waited for him to be ready. Suddenly he has become ready, so you never know.
"The left-sided player does not have to be left-footed. It would be good to have a left-footer but there is a small percentage of them. You can dream about it but sometimes you don't find one."
Eriksson insists the squad is already brimming with confidence ahead of Germany 2006 and is almost certain England will get past their four remaining qualifying games.
And he said the signs were good that a European team will go on to win the tournament. With a bit of luck it could be England, according to Eriksson - especially if they unearth a special player along the lines of a Maradona or Pele.
He added: "Normally teams that win big tournaments have one or two super players, like Pele or Maradona. I hope we have one next year.
"They way we are playing and the confidence in the squad is fantastic. I know the squad is growing and that's good for the future.
"We also need some luck. When I talk about luck I mean if you hit the post the ball goes in - and I hope we don't get any wrong decisions from referees.
"You can't practise luck. If we don't have any injuries I am very very confident we will qualify and when we get there we will have a very good World Cup.
"It is played in Europe which is good for us. Only one South American team has won a World Cup in Europe - Brazil in 1958. All the rest of them have been European teams."