The English Football Association have given their backing to national coach Sven Goran Eriksson after the embarrassing 2-2 draw with Macedonia on Wednesday night.

The result leaves England sttrugling to qualify automatically for the EURO 2004 finals in Portugal but it was the manner of the performance that provoked most criticism from the English press. England looked bereft of inspiration and inevitably Eriksson has come under fire in some quarters.

However, the FA ahave given their full backing to the under-fire coach.

“The FA’s position is simple – we are hugely supportive of Sven,’ said FA marketing director Paul Barber.

‘He has done a great job, with one defeat in 13 competitive matches, and that was to the team who went on to be world champions.

“Sven got us to the World Cup finals and we have made a solid start in the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. We look forward to movingon from here. Sven is a very strong person and has the respect of the players. He’s a terrific person to work with.”