'Eriksson unlikely to be at City next season'

April 29, 2008

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Sven-Goran Eriksson is unlikely still to be at Manchester City manager next season, his agent said on Tuesday.

British media have speculated the former England coach would resign or be sacked after City's Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra said earlier this month he was unhappy with the Premier League club's recent form and wanted change.

Asked whether the Swede would still be at the helm at the beginning of next season, Eriksson's agent Athole Still told Sky Sports News: 'It's looking odds against.

'If Dr Shinawatra was going to give a ringing message of support I think we would have heard it.'

Eriksson, popular with fans after a respectable first season that included doing a rare double over city rivals and league leaders Manchester United, said he had met Thaksin at the weekend but declined to give details about their discussions.

'The chairman and I spoke at the weekend but I do not wish to comment any further,' he said in a statement on the club's website.

'The game with Liverpool on Sunday is most important and we are working very hard to prepare properly for the trip to Anfield and our final game of the season at Middlesbrough.'

Still said the talks with Thaksin had not gone too well.

'It's not looking good. Clearly there have not been the best of discussions between himself and Dr Shinawatra,' the agent said.

Thaksin bought City last year, after being deposed as Thailand's prime minister in a military coup, and hired Eriksson.

After a strong start to the season City have faded in recent months and are ninth in the table with two matches to play.

Still said Eriksson would not resign because he was doing a good job.

'The only thing I can say with some assurance is Sven-Goran Eriksson will not be walking,' he said.

'You walk if you feel you've done a bad job and you are not worthy of the position. In Sven's case that is very, very far from the true situation.'

He added Eriksson was unhappy Thaksin had aired his displeasure with the team's performance so publicly before discussing it with the Swede.

'Sven was very unhappy about that, in the sense that if there is dissatisfaction then it should be discussed internally first and not in the media,' he said.

A City statement on Tuesday repeated Thaksin's intention to hold an evaluation once the season was over.

'Dr Thaksin Shinawatra recently stated there would be a full review of the club at the end of the season. The situation remains the same,' spokesman Paul Tyrrell said in the statement.