• Athletics

Eriksson won't be carbon copy of Van Commenee

ESPN staff
October 30, 2012
Peter Eriksson will try to stay out of the media © Getty Images

UK Athletics' new head coach Peter Eriksson insists he will get tough on underachievers but admits he will have a more low-key approach than predecessor Charles van Commenee.

Eriksson, who was unveiled as Olympic head coach on Monday, says he is happy to stay out of the media and allow the athletes to make the headlines.

Van Commenee had a high-profile spat with triple jumper Phillips Idowu during his time at the helm and the pair were at odds over Idowu's fitness in the lead-up to London 2012.

The Dutchman was a controversial figure, and while Eriksson says he will not shy away from making difficult decisions, he expects his management style to differ greatly from Van Commenee's.

"I'm not going out and looking to be the figurehead in the media," he said. "If that's what happens that's what I'm there for, but I'm more of a quiet personality.

"I don't know if I'm 'soft love'. If you hire coaches to do the job, let them do the job, right? You have to listen to their needs. But if they are not up to the standard, then it's going to be tough.

"I will change things if I have to. The athlete is the one who takes the medal. So if it doesn't work, what are they going to do about it?"

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