Sven-Goran Eriksson is hopeful that Côte d'Ivoire superstar Didier Drogba can be unleashed on Brazil in their FIFA World Cup™ clash tomorrow. Drogba came on as a substitute in the opening Group G match against Portugal.
Eriksson would not confirm that the Chelsea star would start, but sounded optimistic. When asked how important Drogba was to the Elephants, Eriksson said: "Drogba is a world-famous player, he has scored 30 goals already this season and obviously everybody has respect for him. However, we did play well without him for an hour [against Portugal]."
The Swede was full of praise for Dunga, whom Eriksson managed at Fiorentina, and sees the Brazil side he has created as the archetypal modern football team. "When Dunga was one of my players he already knew everything there is to know. He was a very intelligent player and he has done excellent work as coach of Brazil," he said.
"They are a classy team, a technically able team and also a team that can bite when it has to bite. It's the modern style of football. Whenever Brazil play they are always the favourite right from onset. That is the reality, it will always be like this."
A draw is not bad, but we are not going out thinking about a draw. We are going to try to win.
Eriksson accepted a point would not be the end of the world but insisted there was no way he would set his team up simply to keep Brazil out. "A draw against Brazil is always a good result, a fantastic result would be to beat them." he added. "A draw is not bad, but we are not going out thinking about a draw. We are going to try to win."
The former England and Mexico boss, who insists he has a fit squad to pick from with defender Arthur Boka having recovered from a thigh problem, was asked what he had managed to achieve in his short spell in charge. He was only confirmed as the successor to Vahid Halilhodzic in late March and revealed his key objective was to bring more defensive organisation to the side.
"It has been wonderful, I have enjoyed every day and the reason is I have lots of good players," Eriksson said. "What we are trying to do is to be very organised, especially with defending. The players have been fantastic to take that on board and the demonstration they put out against Portugal was very good. It's normal work but it's beautiful. I have never had such a smiling, happy football team in my career."