Teddy Praises England Progress

TEDDY Sheringham believes Sven Goran Eriksson's England have done an excellent job in qualifying for the World Cup and dismisses recent critcism of the England boss.

Teddy, who won 51 caps for his country and was part of Eriksson's squad during England's last World Cup campaign in 2002, defended the Swede's methods and is delighted that England have safely secured their spot in Germany next summer.

"We've qualified for the World Cup and you can't knock Sven or the lads for that," he said. "They've done a fantastic job. It is not easy to qualify, which shows when you look at some of the teams that are struggling to make it this time around.

"There have even been times when England haven't qualified. Nobody was complaining when we qualified for the last World Cup and to think the team are sitting there in silence in the dressing-room is wrong.

"There are always lots of things going on in an England dressing-room and whether Sven is quiet or not should not be an issue.

"England manager is a tough job. You are either seen as good or bad - there's no in between. A lot of the criticism Sven has been receiving recently is down to media sensationalism.

"You have to look at the whole picture and Sven's record in qualification is very strong."

Teddy was also quick to praise his Hammers strike-partner Marlon Harewood, who he believes has all the attributes to force his way into Sven's plans for the World Cup.

"There are several players here with a good chance of forcing their way into the England frame and Marlon is one of them," explained Teddy. "He has more than enough ability to compete at that level.

"His pace, power and strength are incredible and would be a huge asset. Marlon would have a lot to offer at international level."