FA confirm Roy Hodgson as England coach
Roy Hodgson has used his first England press conference to beat the Euro 2012 drum, the bullish boss claiming his side are gunning for glory this summer.
The 64-year-old was unveiled as Fabio Capello’s successor at Wembley after signing a four-year deal and immediately set about outlining his intentions for the finals in Poland and Ukraine.
England won’t have it easy in June, though, as they’ve been pitted in Group D with European heavyweights France, old foes Sweden and hosts the Ukraine. However, that hasn’t stopped Hodgson sending out a clear message of intent for his Three Lions, the West Brom manager saying: “England always have to go to tournaments to win them because we are a major football nation. I certainly think the players would be very disappointed if we expected anything less of them than to win the tournament.”
Hodgson’s first game in charge will be the friendly with Norway on May 26, and the realistic coach acknowledged he doesn’t have that much time to settle into the job before his first real test against the French on June 11.
“It’s going to be difficult of course but hopefully I’ve got time,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve been working [in England] for the last five years so the players are pretty well known to me even though I haven’t worked with them all. “I’ve done as much research and spoken to as many people as I can.
“Everyone knows it is not an easy one but I’m hoping that everyone, fans and supporters will get behind the team,” he added. “It’s the team that counts, they go out and win football matches.
“What I’ll do is try to make sure the team is well prepared for the challenge ahead. It is a very proud day for me, I’m a very happy man to be offered the chance to manage my country. I’m looking forward to the task ahead.”
Hodgson, who also revealed he will not announce his final squad for the Euros until after the Premier League season finishes - although Wayne Rooney, banned for the first two games, will definitely be picked - admitted he needs to get the players quickly on his side.
“It’s a big job to win people over and I want to win people over with the job I do,” he said. “It’s very important that the players buy into what I want to do with the team. It’s also important the supporters buy into it.
“Every coach has got to win over the players, to make sure they’re united behind the cause. It won’t be first time I’ve stepped into a job where I’m meeting players I don’t know.”
The Football Association refused to reveal the other candidates for the post, but insisted it wasn’t just a two-man race involving Hodgson and Harry Redknapp.
>> Never played professional football in England, competing instead for a series of non-league sides.
>> Managed the UAE (2002-04) in between two other experiences of international coaching with Switzerland and Finland.
>> At their peak while managed by Hodgson, Switzerland were rated the third best international side in the world.
>> Is fluent in five languages.
>> Was so popular while manager at Malmo (1985-89) he was offered a lifetime contract.