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Southend United's Ricky Duncan in no lose situation for England's clash with Sweden
SOUTHEND United's head of youth Ricky Duncan will be in a no lose situation when England take on Sweden in Euro 2012 tonight.
As a proud Englishman, Duncan would be delighted to see Roy Hodgson's side record their first victory of the tournament.
But he will also not be too downhearted if they lose, due to his close friendship with Sweden boss Erik Hamren.
“Of course I want England to win but it's win win for me tonight really because Erik is a really good friend of mind,” said Duncan.
“We met three or four years ago when he was in charge of Aalborg in Denmark as part of an academy manager's course I was doing.
“I was due to spend 10 minutes with him to talk about the club but we got on so well straight away that we ended up talking for two and a half hours.
“He invited Ben Clarkson (physio) and I to sit on the bench for a first team game that weekend which was being shown live on their version of Sky Sports.
“They won 2-0 to end a losing streak and at the end we were jumping around with them because Erik really made us feel part of what was going on.
"That went on to win the league that season too so I've always told Erik I'm a lucky charm for his teams."
Duncan returned to watch Aalborg beat Sampdoria on away goals in the UEFA Cup the following season before he also attended the team's pre-match meal ahead of their clash at Tottenham Hotspur in the group stages of the competition.
“I went along with my wife who is a massive Arsenal fan and she couldn't believe it when George Graham sat next to us,” said Duncan.
“He's also good friends with Erik and it was really nice that he invited us along.”
Duncan has swapped texts with the Swedish boss throughout Euro 2012.
And he therefore knows Hamren's team will be going all out to get three points this evening.
“Erik will set his team up to play good football and attack,” said Duncan.
“Ten mad minutes cost them in their first game against Ukraine and they will be looking to come back from that.
“I hope he does well and I also hope he comes over to manage in England one day because I think he will do a good job.
“He's a really nice guy and he will often get in touch to see how Southend are doing so it works both ways and I wish him all the very best.”
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