Sven happy with tactics
25 Jun 2006 - 19:32:10
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is confident his side will continue to improve after they booked a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a 1-0 win against Ecuador.
Having seen England fail to impress in the group stage Eriksson opted to change his formation and started with a five-man midfield and only Wayne Rooney up front against the South Americans.
The tactical switch paid off when David Beckham's magnificent free-kick on the hour set up a last eight meeting with either the Netherlands or Portugal.
England were not entirely convincing, but Eriksson declared himself satisfied with the performance.
"I think it [the formation] worked," said the Swede.
"We should have scored more goals but I am rather happy that we are in the quarter-finals again. I hope we will have a better result in the quarters this time.
"We are in the quarter-finals and we have not performed as well as we can do but it will come later."
Beckham, who was substituted in the closing stages of the game after being sick, was delighted to finally end his set-piece goal drought.
"I haven't scored many free-kicks this season, and in the last two games I've been struggling," admitted the England captain.
"I've been struggling even in training and Wazza (Wayne Rooney) said to me before the match you've been terrible for the past two days so you're going to get one tonight.
"Roberto Carlos sent me a text saying 'score me a free-kick tonight' so it's brought me good luck and we're happy.
"We've done our job. It was ugly at times and we haven't played to our full potential. We're through to the quarter-finals."
Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez had nothing but praise for his players - and for Beckham.
"We gave everything for the Ecuadorian shirt. It was a very complicated match, very difficult and very ordered tactically," said Suarez.
"We're calm with what we've done here. Eriksson told me we were a very good team and that if we go on this way, we'll improve a lot."
He added: "Whenever there's a free-kick, obviously we have to be very much on the ball. We know of the precision that Beckham has when he takes their shots.
"It was a very precise shot, it was impossible to stop. You just have to congratulate Beckham. It was perfect.
"In football sometimes you lose not because of mistakes you make but from a great free-kick which was the case today."