FMF Gives Eriksson Vote Of Confidence

FMF President Justino Compean insists that Sven Goran Eriksson is the man to guide Mexico to the 2010 World Cup.
Mexico coach Sven Goran Eriksson's job is safe and he has the unconditional support of the Mexican Football Federation, officials said Wednesday.

Under fire after a 2-0 loss to the United States in a World Cup qualifying match on Feb. 11, Eriksson has been given a show of support from the FMF and will prepare for El Tri's upcoming qualifier against Costa Rica on March 28 knowing he will be on the sidelines for that match.

"We hired Sven so we could go to the World Cup together," FMF President Justino Compean said. "We've discussed many things with him, and the  communication between us is ongoing. We believe in him, and we hired him to take us to the World Cup."

Mexico's loss against the U.S. set off a wave of frustration and speculation across the Mexican media as many questioned Eriksson's permanence in the post and the FMF's decision to have turned towards Eriksson in the first place. Coupled with the semifinal phase of qualifying, Mexico has a four-match winless streak in qualifying, having gone 0-3-1 in that sretch.

Still, those games have all been on the road. Eriksson is a perfect three-for-three in home qualifiers. Mexico have nine qualifiers left in the Hexagonal round, and five of them are at home. Anything short of victory in any of Mexico's home games will not be tolerated, though, officials warned.

"He knows how to count, that as host he must accumulate 15 points," Compean said. "We must have success on the road, as getting more than 20 points would give us some confidence. We want to qualify directly, not as (the fourth-place team)."

In CONCACAF, the top three teams in the Hexagonal advance to the 2010 World Cup while the fourth-place team will play a South American nation for another berth.

In order for Eriksson to best prepare the team, Compean said the Swede must not feel pressure or worry about his position.

"Sven cannot have his head in a guillotine. He must work with confidence and we are giving it to him," Compean said. "We are not threatening him. On the contrary, we are giving him our full support and will give him anything he needs."