Euro 2012: Erik Hamren takes blame for Sweden exit

Sweden coach Erik Hamren took the blame for the 3-2 defeat against England as his side exited the European Championship with a game to play.

"I am the coach, and I pick the team. I feel really bad for the players because they played a really good match but went out," said Hamren.

"The operation went well but the patient died. That is how I feel."

Sweden lost to England for the first time in a competitive game, having gone seven previous games without defeat.

The Swedes went behind after Andy Carroll rose highest to plant home a header from a Steven Gerrard cross.

But the Scandinavian side took the lead through a Glen Johnson own goal before former Aston Villa centre-back Olof Mellberg headed them ahead from a free-kick.

Theo Walcott came on for England and turned the game, scoring the equaliser before setting up the winner for Danny Welbeck.

And Hamren felt the better team won the match, adding: "They were much more effective than we were. We showed the mentality and the attitude I wanted to see, but to win games you need also a little bit of luck."

After reports that captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic has unhappy with certain playersexternal-link following the defeat in the first game, coach Hamren dismissed suggestions that the AC Milan striker had too much influence in the dressing room.

"Of course I talk to my captain, but if Johan [Elmander] had not been injured before the championship he would be playing, but he wasn't ready," stated Hamren.

"Mentally he wasn't ready. In football, it's both the feet and the brain. Elmander showed he had the mental strength to do the job."

Defender Mellberg, who spent seven seasons at Villa Park before departing for Juventus in 2008, says his side made an improvement from the Ukraine game, but were not good enough to progress.

"We're sad after today, especially the way we went out, and felt we deserved more," said the 34-year-old.

"We did better compared to the first game, but obviously conceding five goals in two games is really disappointing, without conceding too many chances. You can't afford that."

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