Sven-Goran Eriksson is adamant he will still be in charge of England at the World Cup next summer and will not be forced out of his job by his growing legion of critics.
Despite overseeing England’s qualification for Germany, the Swede has come under regular fire for what many see as his cautious tactics in a side brimming with widely-respected attacking talents.
Asked if he would ever win over all the sceptics, Eriksson admitted: “Some of them maybe not. Some of them think I should resign tomorrow.
“But we have won our group and we have a good team, the best since I came to this country. I should be an extremely bad manager and a bad professional if I resigned tomorrow.
“I have absolutely no intention of doing that whatsoever. But I don’t know if those critics reflect the England fans as I’ve never met one of them (who said the same), that’s for sure.”
Apart from the pundits, Eriksson’s critics tend to make their voices heard on radio phone-ins and in newspaper polls, and their attacks are likely to increase if England fail to reach the World Cup final.
At the last finals in Asia in 2002, England fell to eventual champions Brazil in the quarter-finals.
“Of course our ambition is to reach the final, there are no doubts about that,” said Eriksson.
“Would it be a failure if we didn’t? If we didn’t play good football against all the teams at the World Cup, I would think it’s a failure. Then you have to look at each game and how you lose it.”
Eriksson believes England deserve to be seeded in December’s group draw, observing: “I would be disappointed not to be seeded but anyhow I would accept it.”
However, he has already identified the two most likely dangers to his side next summer, and they do not include Argentina, Italy, Holland, Spain or France.
“Brazil, with the quality they have, especially in midfield and up front, are very good,” he declared.
“Then it’s to see if they can defend as well as they attack. I don’t know but when I saw them win the Confederations Cup last summer, they played very good football.
“Then there is Germany. The mentality of the Germans is such that, in 90 or 95% of all tournaments, they do very well.
“Sometimes they don’t have the best team or not even the second or third best team, but normally they reach the semi-finals or final. Now they will be playing at home.”