Royle welcomes World Cup draw

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle surveyed the World Cup draw and insisted: “It's a good one for England.“It has worked out well and I am sure Sven Goran Eriksson will be quite happy.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle surveyed the World Cup draw and insisted: “It's a good one for England.

“It has worked out well and I am sure Sven Goran Eriksson will be quite happy. It's definitely a winnable group.”

England will play Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Sweden in Group B when the finals are staged in Germany next summer.


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Royle, fiercely patriotic and capped six times by his country, added: “The Sweden game stands out for obvious reasons. We seem to come up against them a lot at international level.

“It won't be easy but I would think Sven will be looking at going through with his home country.

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“Paraguay won't be one of the strongest countries from South America and although we keep saying that there is no such thing as an easy game at this level, surely Trinidad & Tobago aren't going to cause a major upset.

“With the Swedes they are traditionally stubborn opponents. England haven't much joy against them over the years but in the group situation, regardless of what happens in the game between the two countries, they will both expect to progress.

“Sven has got his wish by avoiding some of the other dangerous wild cards and he can ask for no more at this stage.”

Royle fancies Brazil to retain their world crown, adding: “When they get it right, they have that great blend of skill, athleticism and strength.

“But we are worthy second favourites when you remember the performance against Argentina a few weeks back.

“However, you don't have to go back that far to recall the defeat by Northern Ireland.

“At our best we can be up there with the best and there is a good case for optimism going into the tournament.”

Royle was present at the World Cup when it was staged in the Far East in 2002, as a member of the BBC commentary team.

But if a similar invitation comes his way in a few months' time, he is likely to turn it down.

He explained: “My summers are sacred to me these days. I am far more likely to spend it with my wife at our home in Majorca - that will mean watching the football on the box.”

Full colour World Cup wallchart inside four-page pull-out in tomorrow's Star.

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