Wilhelmsson: Sweden are now even more motivated to beat England

The winger says the side have now been given an added impetus to emerge victorious in their next match, having suffered a disappointing defeat to co-hosts Ukraine on Monday
 Kris Voakes
 In Kiev


Christian Wilhelmsson has claimed that Sweden are keen to make amends in the next match against England, having suffered a 2-1 defeat to Ukraine in their Euro 2012 opener.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Swedes ahead early in the second half with a close-range finish, but two headed goals from Andriy Shevchenko in quick succession clinched all three points for the co-hosts and put them top of Group D.

While the attacking midfielder openly admits it was important to have got off to a strong start in the tournament, the result means there is all the more reason to avenge for their shortcomings against Oleg Blokhin's troops.

Wilhelmsson exclusively told Goal.com: "I think we just get even more motivated to win the next game, but of course if everything was ideal we would be standing here with three points today. But it is what it is and we have to take the next game as it comes.

"We have to score more goals than England, it’s easy! But yes, we know that England have fantastic football players as well.

"We are going to study them very hard now in the coming days and we’ll come up with a good game plan from Erik [Hamren] for the game. If we follow that, I think we will be happy Swedish guys.

"It's a difficult game, it's a very tough group. But we are going to do our best for the three points against England.

"I saw the first 10 or 15 minutes of their game and nothing more, but I'm sure we're going to get to know them more between now and the coming days."

The Al Hilal player went on to add that Shevchenko had a massive impact on Monday's Group A opener between the two countries, with his goalscorers' instinct ultimately making the difference on the night.

"They have a great goalscorer in Shevchenko, and that’s it. He scored two goals, and it’s difficult," he noted.

"The whole Ukrainian team played a good game. It was a difficult game."

The former Bolton man was also quick to dismiss suggestions Sweden are overly reliant on Ibrahimovic, insisting there are many other strong individuals in the side, while praising the fans for their "amazing" support.

"Zlatan is a very fantastic player, and of course we want a lot of the balls to go through him because he is an amazing player," said Wilhelmsson.

"But we're 11 good football players on the pitch and everybody has their role in the game, but as Zlatan showed today, he scored a goal and a lot should go through him.

“To see so many Swedish fans here is amazing, and we know also at home a lot of people are following us, so we are doing our best to win the games but today it didn't work out. But we will for sure have another try in the next game."

Meanwhile, Sweden team-mate Martin Olsson was also disappointed with his side's loss, explaining to reporters: "We started slowly, but we improved in the second half and performed a bit better but they still punished us and we lost the game so it's not good enough."