|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup|
BREMEN, Germany, June 25 (Reuters) - Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said on Sunday he would not quit after his team's World Cup exit and said media expectations back home had been too high.Lagerback said he had a contract until 2008 and, as he had never broken a binding agreement before, added he not even given a thought towards stepping down. Sweden finished second in Group B but were eliminated 2-0 on Saturday by Germany in Munich.'I haven't thought about it at all,' Lagerback said when asked about criticism in Sweden blaming him for the exit. 'I have a contract until 2008 and have not had any other thoughts.'Lagerback told a news conference at the Sweden training base in Bremen before flying home that Sweden accomplished two of their three aims - qualifying for World Cup and advancing from the group stage even if they failed to move on from there.'We achieved two of three goals. That's a pretty good result. The expectations among people in the media are quite high. If we have a good day, we could beat any team.'Several Swedish newspapers published snap opinion polls saying some 70 percent believe Lagerback should go. He was blamed for a strategy that allowed to Germany score two goals in the first 12 minutes.Many Swedes were also enraged when he said his team played well after their 0-0 Group B draw against Trinidad & Tobago.'It's difficult to know how representative these opinion polls are,' Lagerback said, calmly fending off more a dozen questions about his future. 'We in the coaching staff don't have the same expectations as in the media.'As a coach I say you need to be realistically optimistic. For a country like Sweden to qualify for the finals and advance from the group stage I think that is rather good.'Lagerback, who expressed hope his key veterans such as Henrik Larsson and Freddie Ljungberg would stay on for Euro 2008, said he would go if the players demanded it.'The only way I would take the initiative and resign would be if the players did not have confidence in me,' he said.Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already made clear how they felt.'He has to stay on,' said the striker. 'He's done a fantastic job when you consider we're a country of nine million. It's anything but automatic that Sweden make it to the last 16.'