Guangzhou, June 18 (IANS) It certainly recalled the memory of Sven-Goran Eriksson from the ‘good old days’ in Italy and England, when he was surrounded by journalists and fans.
“This will be one of the biggest challenges in my coaching career,” Eriksson, who took rein of the Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Fuli 12 days ago, made his debut speech here Monday, reports Xinhua.
“I’ve learnt that football is very important in this country so it is a difficult job and big challenge for me,” the Swede said.
The 65-year-old had only less than three weeks to make a difference for Guangzhou Fuli as former coach Sergio Farias was sacked immediately after the team lost to Guizhou Renhe.
“I am not worried; you can’t take a job when you are worried. I think it is a good job. Everyone is born to make mistakes and I am born to be optimistic. My job is to make the team better, try to beat other teams of the league. Certainly it is not easy for us. We are now 12 points behind third place but we are going to try,” Eriksson said.
With a contract of one and a half years, Eriksson knew he could only afford a disappointing result in this half-left season.
“I don’t think I will stay after the first year and a half. But if we go down, of course I am finished. The club wants to play in the AFC Champions league, I believe sooner or later we will,” he said.
The Swede knew his team has been struggling as they only pocketed 12 points in 12 games and dropped to 13th on the table. At the same time last season, they had already harvested 24 points.
“I think step-by-step we will get better and we should be very much higher in the table than now,” Eriksson said.
It won’t be easy for the Swede to manage a team whose players come from China, Brazil and Nigeria.
“Communication is very important inside the club. The players should speak to each other on the pitch, the coach should talk to every player and also the club officials,” the Swede said.
“I think we have a lot of good Chinese players which is very important to the club. I don’t think I will pick out a single one. Instead, I will open the door for every player; I am very open to them,” he added.