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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Sven lands in Thailand tight-lipped over future

Sven-Goran Eriksson refused to comment on when he will next meet Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra after arriving in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.

The City manager landed at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport at 1810 local time for the first leg of the club's post-season promotional tour to the Far East, which is set to be overshadowed by speculation over his position.

When asked if he would be meeting with Thaksin, Eriksson said: 'No comment.'

The former England manager was then promptly ushered away into a waiting car.

Thaksin, the former Thai Prime Minister, is reportedly dissatisfied with City's form in the second half of the season which culminated in an 8-1 humiliation at Middlesbrough on Sunday and a ninth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League.

It was City's best finish since the 2004-2005 season but Eriksson's position has reportedly become precarious.

City defeated champions Manchester United in both the home and away derbies during the season - becoming the only team to win at Old Trafford in the league and claiming their first 'double' over their city rivals in 38 years.

But Eriksson's side won just four and lost eight of 14 matches since the close of the January transfer window, including defeats to relegated teams Birmingham and Reading and a loss to fourth-bottom Fulham.

The 60-year-old Swede could now be given his marching orders in Thailand but still be asked to lead the team in the second leg of the tour in Hong Kong in what would be a farcical end to his season-long reign as a Premier League boss.

City play Thailand Premier All-Stars on Saturday in Bangkok, before meeting a South China Invitational XI in Hong Kong next Thursday.