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Football: Platt: I want to be England boss one day; (NOT WITH YOUR RECORD SO FAR, DAVID).

Byline: John DILLON

DAVID PLATT last night went into battle against Steve McClaren and announced his plans to succeed Sven Goran Eriksson as England manager.

World Cup hero Platt took up his pounds 1.5million job as the first full-time under-21 coach and openly declared his aim of being the man to follow Eriksson, despite a less-than-impressive managerial record.

Eriksson's contract puts him in charge until the 2006 World Cup, but the FA are already preparing potential replacements, with Platt and Middlesbrough coach McClaren the current front runners.

It inevitably means a contest between Platt and McClaren, drafted back into the England set-up at Eriksson's request.

Platt, 36, said: "It's a dream of mine to manage my country.

"There's a feeling around that they're looking to groom somebody for the job, and this is a personal opportunity.

"I don't see there being any point in going into management if you don't want to be the best.

"I played for and captained my country and that's the pinnacle of anybody's career.

"To manage your country is a similar pinnacle. It's something I've always wanted to do.

"You will have to ask the FA why they have hired me.Perhaps they see potential. All I can do is seize an opportunity and do it.

"I'm not naive enough to think it's a foregone conclusion that I'll get the job. I have to progress, to develop and to get good results and things can change from week to week in football. But this is an opportunity for me.

"The fact they're going for a full-time under-21 job shows it's one step away from the main national side."

Significantly, Platt has been given the same length of contract as Eriksson - five years with a two-year option. He will be paid pounds 300,000 a year.

Platt, who netted 27 times in 62 England appearances between 1990 and 1996, quit as Nottingham Forest manager to take up the FA job.

He memorably scored the dramatic late winner against Belgium in the 1990 World Cup which set England on the path to the semi-finals.

Eriksson was Platt's manager at Sampdoria in Italy's Serie A for two years in the mid-1990s.

Platt replaces the unsuccessful Howard Wilkinson, who lost control of the team after a power battle with both FA chief executive Adam Crozier and Eriksson, but remains as technical director.

Platt insisted his appointment was made with the full agreement of Eriksson, Crozier and Wilkinson and added: "I don't foresee any problems working with Howard. I had seven great months with him working with the under-18s. I learned a lot.

"I'm sure that if you asked him or Adam Crozier, you would get the same answer.

"It was an easy decision for me to take the job. My name was being mentioned in connection with it and I knew from day one I would take the job. I asked Graham Taylor for advice, but I had already made up my mind.

"I'd have liked to have finished the job at Forest but I knew that if I turned this down, the chance might never come along again. Even though this is only at under-21 level, I didn't foresee things happening so quickly for me. I played only three games for the under-21s, but I'm glad I did because I know the set-up.

"I'm not interested in getting my golf handicap down.

"This is full-time. I want my time to be filled up."

Platt's first game will be a friendly at home to Holland on August 14.

PLATT AS MANAGER

SAMPDORIA Dec 98 to Feb 99

P6 W0 L 3 D 3

RESIGNED after just six weeks in the job after failing to earn coaching badge in Italy

FOREST July 99 to July 01

P110 W37 L41 D32

RESIGNED to take charge of England under-21s, replacing Howard Wilkinson

CAPTION(S):

BACK ME: David Platt met Sven Goran Eriksson yesterday - and was not afraid to put himself in the frame as a successor to the England coach; FIRST: Our June 9 exclusive
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2001
Words:674
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