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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 19, 2006

King admits to being stunned by Sven's comments

Tottenham captain Ledley King believes Sven-Goran Eriksson still has the backing of the England team despite comments that have cast a shadow over the Swede's future ahead of this summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

King admits he was 'stunned' by Eriksson's remarks about senior England players last weekend but insists the manager will still have the support of the dressing room.

Eriksson made indiscreet comments to an undercover reporter about Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and David Beckham but, when asked if Eriksson would have lost any respect among the England players, King replied: 'No, I don't think so.

'I haven't spoken to most of the squad in the last few days but I still believe he (Eriksson) has got the backing of the players and he will be using all his energy to try to bring England the World Cup.'

King is struggling with a persistent groin injury ahead of Saturday's home game with Aston Villa as Spurs look to shake off two successive defeats and get back to winning ways.

Coach Martin Jol was disappointed with their FA Cup exit at the hands of struggling Championship side Leicester City but felt his side were unlucky not to gain anything out a narrow 1-0 reverse to Liverpool on Merseyside last weekend.

The Dutchman has been trying to bolster his squad with the addition of a left-sided player during the current transfer window but their £1million offer for Middlesbrough's young winger Adam Johnson was rejected.

Jol could not guarantee Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge a place in his first team every week, which forced the England defender to join Fulham on loan until the end of the season.

Bridge is determined to push his way in Eriksson's World Cup plans but needs to be playing regularly in the top flight to ensure he books his place.

Jol explained: 'It's more about Wayne Bridge than us. He wants to play and we never guarantee players they will play. That is the only thing I can say about it.

'We cannot give assurances. He wants to go to the World Cup so I can appreciate he wants to play but we could not give him that guarantee. I rate him as a player, he is a very good player and we only have one left-back. If somebody else can guarantee he will play, it's up to him.'

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