SVEN IS SET FOR D-DAY; EXCLUSIVE BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE MIDDLES'BORO V MAN CITY.
SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON will have a crunch meeting over his future with Thaksin Shinawatra's right-hand man immediately after today's game with Middlesbrough.
The Manchester City boss, who met Benfica officials last week, will meet top Shinawatra aide Pairog Piempongsant to find out whether he is still in a job, with his Thai owner reportedly ready to wield the axe.
But Eriksson may well have to undergo the humiliation of boarding a plane to Thailand to discover his fate at a face-toface meeting with Shinawatra.
City's squad fly to Bangkok next Wednesday to play against a Thailand Premier All-Stars team before continuing the promotional jaunt with two further matches in Hong Kong.
Eriksson insists he'll go to Thailand whether or not he's going to be manager at Eastlands next season.
But he said last night: "I expect something to happen on Sunday - I expect clear words one way or another. It won't be face to face with the owner because he is not in this country, but there are phones and I am sure his right-hand man will be at Middlesbrough.
"The situation is I am going to Thailand because I am still contracted. I am expected to go but that's not the issue. The issue is to be clear on my future."
Despite Eriksson's ice-cool nature, his meeting with Piempongsant could be fiery, especially as the former England boss believes Shinawatra's right-hand man has told top agents the Swede won't be in charge next season.
But some senior figures at City believe there is still an outside chance Eriksson could be in charge next season given Shinawatra's volatile temperament - and Eriksson's love of the club.
If the Thai boss changes his mind - still a faint possibility - it's thought the Swede would be prepared to stay.
Eriksson added: "I am still in love with English football, absolutely. It is very difficult not to like English football and the Premier League it is the best League in the world.
"Would I come back? I haven't gone yet!
But if I do I would come back if the project was right, that is important.
"The reports about Benfica haven't made my position with the City owner more difficult so why should I walk away just like that? I have responsibility and as long as I stay at the club then I have responsibility to the players."
Eriksson will give compatriot Andreas Isaksson a last-day stint in goal.
TALKS: Eriksson faces talks
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||May 11, 2008|
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