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By ESPN Staff
Jan 28, 2006

'We need to stick together,' insists Beckham

England captain David Beckham wants the nation to forget the furore surrounding coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and back the team to World Cup glory.

Eriksson is leaving after the World Cup, two years before his contract was due to expire, after revelations made to the News of the World's 'fake sheikh' in Dubai.

The Swede suggested he would be prepared to become manager of Aston Villa this summer as part of a hypothetical takeover, taking Real Madrid midfielder Beckham to the midlands with him.

Eriksson made indiscreet comments about England stars Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney and allegedly claimed transfer corruption among Premiership clubs.

The Football Association are now searching for Eriksson's successor and plan to have him in place before the World Cup starts in Germany.

But Beckham wants the focus to return to England's attempts to win the tournament for the first time since 1966.

'The most important thing is we move on from this. For two weeks it's been a circus and the focus has been taken away from the team and what we want to accomplish in the World Cup finals. We need to stick together and forget what has happened,' Beckham told The Sun.

'I didn't know Sven was going, I had no clue whatsoever. It's sad but, hopefully, in the end it might not be sad at all. If we go all the way in the competition, it would be a great ending for him.'

Beckham does not believe the upheaval will hamper England's chances.

'Yes, there's a new manager coming in, but Sven's the one who will be taking us to Germany. People ask if it will affect morale but it won't. It's the biggest competition in the game and we want to win it.

'Every one of the players has a great relationship with this manager. We will stick by him and he will stick by us.'

Beckham is not desperate for a return to the Barclays Premiership, insisting his main concern is success for Real Madrid.

'Every summer there have been rumours about me going back. Of course I discussed it with Sven when I met up with England but I'm happy in Madrid right now and all that's missing is a trophy.'

Yesterday, England were drawn alongside Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, Macedonia and Andorra in Group E for the Euro 2008 qualification campaign, and Beckham admits it could have been tougher.

'There are some tricky games in there. It's a cliche but there are no easy games. Having said that, it could have been harder.'