Potter, like Hodgson, was an English managerial debutant when he arrived in Sweden. He has seen success by emulating the England manager, winning promotion in his first two seasons by introducing a new style of play.

“I was a bit dizzy but now I am fine. I am going with the rest of the team to the hotel and go to bed. The police asked if I wanted to go to hospital but I don’t like hospitals.”

Ostersund were drawing 1-1 at Jonkoping Sodra at the time. The Ostersund chairman Daniel Kindberg said: “This is terrible. Thank God the idiot didn’t have a knife. In a way I am actually relieved, the first thought that came to my head was: ‘Did he have a knife?’”

Anders Ygeman, Swedish interior minister, on Tuesday evening said that the government was considering meeting police demands for increased funding to deal with the growing dangers on the street.

While back-to-back promotions have done his credentials no harm, Potter is fortunate in that unlike many managers today, he has been given time to nurture his Ostersunds vision.

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Potter’s instant achievement is a result of his own careful, planned, personal development.

Östersund is known as ‘the Winter City’ because it caters for just about any activity on snow or ice. Downhill and cross-country skiing, trip skating, ice-fishing, horse and dog sleds, snowmobile safaris and many other winter sports activities are all on offer in and around the city. In fact they are a way of life of here.

“When I arrived, the club had just got relegated on the back of poorly recruited foreign players and a mix that hadn’t really worked.

“We played with a back three and Sweden is traditionally a back-four culture,” Potter explained.

Police said a 17-year-old man had been arrested. “We have informed the prosecutor of the arrest and interviews will be conducted with him about the suspected breaches of the law.” The police also said that the 17-year-old told them that he had left a bomb in his bag but that proved to be untrue.

“I was introduced to Daniel Kindberg, the chairman of Ostersunds, who at the time was the sports director, by Graeme Jones who is Roberto Martínez’s assistant at Everton,” he said.

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"The aim was to get the players at the club already to enjoy their football. It’s a really exciting time for the club, the town’s really got behind it.”

“We had sold David Accam, our best attacking player, halfway through the second promotion season and changed the system.

The game was called off with the match delegate Nicklas Bengtsson saying Keita was “not fit” to play on and the Ostersund coach Graham Potter, a former West Bromwich Albion player, adding: “Keita is shocked. He’s not doing so well.”

A full back for Birmingham, Stoke and West Bromwich Albion, he decided to seize control of his future by calling time on his playing career at 30 to enter higher education.

By then, perhaps ‘English Graham’ will be hailed along with Bob and Roy as one of Swedish football’s great innovators.

He told Aftonbladet: “I just saw that someone was behind me. I ran and then stopped because I thought he was gone. Then I was in shock and didn’t understand what had happened. I didn’t hear him say anything. It is sad that someone can do something like that and ruin an evening. It is a sad day for football. But football is bigger than these idiots.

" He was friends with the sports director who was looking for a young coach and he offered me an academy position.

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“Two years on the club had got relegated, he had become the chairman and he asked me to be the manager. I had finished my degree and thought it was a really good football opportunity.”

Nearly four decades have eclipsed since Bob Houghton and Roy Hodgson conquered Sweden.

Police in the icy Northern Swedish city of Ostersund have warned single women against venturing out alone after dark, following a space of violent attacks, with nine cases reported in less than three weeks.

"The chairman wanted success based on a possession style of football, and it was really appealing from my perspective. We are now widely regarded as one of the best footballing teams in the Swedish elite system.”

In 1976 it was Houghton who recommended Hodgson to Halmstads, and Potter was handed his big break in a similar fashion.

Aly Keita was knocked to the ground by the unidentified man who was bundled away by players and stewards while the goalkeeper was given medical attention.


“It’s a really good football project I have here,” he said. “To have this last three years in professional football in a different country has given me more time to develop a managerial style. Managers need to be given time to be successful.

Last year, Graham Potter guided Ostersunds in their first season in the Superettan, Sweden’s second tier.

"I then did a master’s degree in leadership and emotional intelligence while I was at Leeds Met and that five years was invaluable. I was able to develop in an environment where my job wasn’t on the line for results.”

Keita later confirmed he had been struck in the temple, saying: “I am shocked and angry. It is awful that something like this could happen.”

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It was the second time a game in the Swedish top flight had been abandoned this year. In April, Gothenburg’s match against Malmo was halted when a firework exploded at the feet of a substitute who was warming up.

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“I played with Graeme at Boston United and we’d followed a similar path at the end of our playing careers.

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The pair are credited with transforming Swedish football by introducing the flat back four, zonal marking and the offside trap, with ‘English Bob’ in charge at Malmo and ‘English Roy’ at Halmstads.

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