Eriksson: County role is my biggest challenge yet

SVEN-GORAN Eriksson says he is facing the &ldquo;biggest challenge of his life&rdquo; after being unveiled as director of football at Notts County.<br /><br />The former England manager has signed a new five-year deal at Meadow Lane with the aim of dragging the world&rsquo;s oldest football club from the depths of League Two and into the Premier League.<br /><br />Eriksson was lured to County by the club&rsquo;s new Middle Eastern owners Munto Finance and will work on a full-time basis alongside current Magpies boss Ian McParland and the Swede&rsquo;s former England assistant Tord Grip.<br /><br />But the Swede, who was sacked as Manchester City manager just 12 months ago, insists he has no plans to stay long in the fourth tier of English football and harbours ambitions of a return to the Premier League.<br /><br />&ldquo;I always said I wanted to come back to the Premier League,&rdquo; he said at a packed press conference yesterday. &ldquo;I chose a little bit of a difficult way to do it I think. It will take a few years, but I think we will do it. <br /><br />&ldquo;When my agent asked me if I would be interested in Notts County I said &lsquo;I am not sure about that&rsquo;, but after listening to the people and seeing the project I said &lsquo;yes&rsquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s the biggest football challenge of my life, trying to take Notts County back to the Premier League, but that&rsquo;s the target. The challenge is perhaps the most difficult football job I&rsquo;ve had so far. But I am looking forward to it.&rdquo;<br /><br />Eriksson is responsible for restructuring the club from its grass roots, covering everything from youth and academy development, training facilities to transfer negotiations. But despite the backing of the wealthy new owners, Eriksson insists the club will be sensible with their money. &ldquo;When this news of his appointment came out my phone was hot all the time,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;People all over the place are asking how much we can pay for players. You can&rsquo;t pay Premier League salaries to players in League Two. We all know that we have to be sensible.&rdquo;<br /><br />McParland too is looking forward to a healthy relationship with his illustrious colleague, while admitting Eriksson&rsquo;s appointment took him by surprise. &ldquo;When Peter Trembling, County&rsquo;s executive chairman told me I said &lsquo;it&rsquo;s not April is it?&rsquo;,&rdquo; he said. <br /><br />&ldquo;I had to pinch myself a little bit. It&rsquo;s fantastic. He has a lot of knowledge of the game, he&rsquo;s been at top clubs around the world and managed England. I&rsquo;m sure he will bring a lot to the football club and we&rsquo;ll bounce things off each other.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>FACTFILE ERIKSSON'S TEAMS</strong><br /><br />1977&ndash;1978&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Degerfors<br />1979&ndash;1982&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Gothenburg<br />1982&ndash;1984&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Benfica<br />1984&ndash;1987&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Roma<br />1987&ndash;1989&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Fiorentina<br />1989&ndash;1992&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Benfica<br />1992&ndash;1997&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sampdoria<br />1997&ndash;2001&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Lazio<br />2001&ndash;2006&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; England<br />2007&ndash;2008&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Manchester City<br />2008&ndash;2009&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mexico<br />2009&ndash;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; Notts County