Eriksson hails UEFA Cup place as dream

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson described his team's qualification for the UEFA Cup as "a dream" after they were confirmed as England's entrants through the Fair Play league Friday, dpa reported.

England were granted an extra place in the competition because they topped the UEFA Fair Play league.

City have been selected as England's representatives because they were the highest-placed side in the domestic fair-play league not to have qualified for Europe by other means.

"It is like the dream came true," Eriksson told the club's website. "Our dream to play in Europe has been strong all season.

"At one point we were almost sure to get there, at other points we have been almost out of it but now this news is absolutely fantastic.

"It is a step in the right direction because the target for this club in the future is to play in the Champions League.

"The UEFA Cup is a very good school to learn about European football.

"It is a confirmation that we are a good team but also a team that behaves well on the pitch. This is like a bonus for us."

It is far from clear whether Eriksson will still be in charge for that first UEFA Cup match, with the club's owner Thaksin Shinawatra still to conduct his end-of-season review.

With the pitch at the City of Manchester Stadium being relaid in July it is likely City will have to play their first game in the competition elsewhere.

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