Sven playing it cool over Thaksin meeting

April 21, 2008

Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson insists he has no fears about his meeting with Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra next week.

Eriksson has been under pressure after the former Thai prime minister revealed he would review the Swede's position at the end of the season.

City's victory over Portsmouth has taken the heat off Eriksson to some extent, and he claims he is not concerned about the future.

He said: 'Am I worried that I still have a job? No, I'm not worried at all, absolutely not.

'You can't go in life and be worried about things like that - I think I will be sitting here in this chair next season.

'He [Thaksin] said something, if he means it or not I don't know, I will see him next week.

'This was important for the team, the club, the fans and with three games to play, we still have a small possibility to play in Europe so that's good.'

Inspired by the powerful Benjani Mwaruwari, City took full advantage of an off-day for the Portsmouth defence to keep themselves in with a chance of qualifying for Europe.

Benjani scored the third to seal victory and end Portsmouth's hopes of a comeback. Darius Vassell had opened the scoring after a bad mix-up between David James and Sol Campbell, Martin Petrov made it 2-0 before John Utaka gave the visitors hope again.

But after Herman Hreidarsson's controversial dismissal, Portsmouth were up against it and after some bad luck - they hit both posts - Benjani ended the contest.

City are now eighth in the Barclays Premier League - and Eriksson believes any final position between seventh and ninth would be 'a good result' and above that 'fantastic'.

Eriksson added: 'I remember before the first game of the season I was asked 'what's the target' and we really didn't know as we were bringing in seven players and mixing them together.

'After a while people talked about the Champions League, then the UEFA Cup then it was heads down for a bit but recently we have come back and are playing rather good football.'

City's best hope of Europe is through the Intertoto Cup - but Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp will not be fighting Eriksson for that honour.

Redknapp said: 'I was hoping to go on holiday. That's all I need to start playing again in June. No, I think I will give that one a swerve.

'We've had a fantastic year, we'll finish sixth, seventh or eighth, we got to the (FA) Cup final. Enjoy this year if you're a Pompey fan.'

Portsmouth did have cause to worry after James received protracted treatment on a calf injury but Redknapp insisted there was no serious problem for the England keeper.

'He got a little bit of pull on his calf, and we could do without him being injured. He'll be okay though, he played on today.'