Roy Hodgson: My England team will challenge for Euro 2012 title
Roy Hodgson plays up England's Euro 2012 chances after being unveiled as the national side's new manager on Tuesday
Roy Hodgson vowed to put together an England team capable of challenging for the European championship title this summer after he was confirmed as the national side’s new manager on a four-year contract on Tuesday.
The 64-year-old, who will remain in charge at West Bromwich Albion until the end of the Premier League season before officially taking up his new role, admits he faces a challenge in readying England’s troops for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine but insists he is prepared for the mission ahead.
“It’s a very proud day for me and I’m looking forward to the task ahead,” Hodgson said at his unveiling at Wembley on Tuesday. “Everyone knows it’s not an easy one.
“I think England always have to go into tournaments to win them because we are a major football nation.
“The players would be disappointed if we didn’t expect less of them than trying to win the tournament. It’s always a big job to win people over and it’s important first of all to have the chance.”
Hodgson also confirmed the England squad announcement for this summer’s tournament will be put back until after the last game of the Premier League season.
The former Fulham boss was an outsider to land the job, with Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp the firm favourite to take over from Fabio Capello.
But Hodgson insists the Spurs manager has been “very gracious” upon learning of his appointment.
“I’ve got great respect for Harry [Redknapp],” he said. “He sent me a voicemail message. He’s been very gracious. I hope we stay friends. We have unwittingly become rivals.”
Football Association chairman David Bernstein refused to be drawn on questions relating to Redknapp, but confirmed that the decision to appoint Hodgson was made “around a month ago”.
“Over a period of time, Roy emerged as stand-out candidate,” said Bernstein. “We canvassed opinions across a large part of the game. We did not approach West Brom until last week.
“We met at Wembley on Monday and quickly decided Roy was the right man to guide us through the European championship. The board was unanimous in choosing Roy. This is the first time the FA has appointed an English manager with international experience.
“Roy has been given a four-year contract which will take us through the Euro 2012 championship, World Cup in 2014 and European championship in 2016.
“I would like to give my thanks to Stuart Pearce, taking on so much responsibility in the interim. There is much to look forward to. It’s a hugely exciting time for us all.”
“We decided a month ago that Roy Hodgson was the preferred candidate. This was not a two-man race. There were other candidates.”
Hodgson’s first game in charge will be a Euro 2012 warm-up game against Norway in Oslo on 26 May, before England host Belgium at Wembley on 2 June.