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City want success says Ball

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As Sven-Goran Eriksson prepares to step back into the full glare of the English media on Saturday afternoon, one of his players knows the former national coach will take it all in his stride.

Michael Ball was in London this week speaking at the Premier League's Creating Chances initative launch and afterwards he spoke to Her Majesty's assembled press and was inevitably questioned about his new Manager.

The left-back revealed: "The record of former England managers hasn't been the best but we all know Sven will be right at the front, taking all the pressure off the players. Pressure doesn't affect him. Sven has been fantastic. He's very good with his man-management skills.

"A lot of ex-England managers have struggled back in club football and I can understand if teams want to beat us to put one over on him."

"Obviously he had a certain reputation from his time as England boss and a lot of players wanted to see what he's about. Deep down I think he is more passionate than people think.

"Sven is very easy to get to know, very easy to talk to and very pleasant and polite."

Ball also told of the players' first meeting with their new gaffer and said: "When he spoke to us after he'd signed his contract, you could see in his face how happy he was. Every other word was how 'happy' he was to be back in football, 24/7 around players. He wants to come back and prove to everyone what a good manager he is.

"Sven has had money to spend and it's great for City to bring all these players in. It can be difficult for them to settle in with their families and fit into our community. Will we gel straight away? We want to be in the top half."

With the money being spent over the summer by Dr Thaksin and Sven, Michael believes the Blues certainly are moving in the right direction.

He concluded: "City have been a sleeping giant for a long time and the Thai owner wants success and a high-profile manager to make City's profile really big and Sven's the guy to do it."



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