Hodgson: I’ll go when not wanted

Roy Hodgson insists he is in no rush to resolve his future.

Published: Friday 29th May 2015 by Caroline Stephenson

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Roy Hodgson says he will walk away from his job as England manager if the tide of public opinion turns against him following Euro 2016.

Despite failing to win a match at last year’s World Cup, Hodgson managed to retain the support of the majority of England fans.

Those who travelled to England’s final game – an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Costa Rica – clapped Hodgson and his players off in Belo Horizonte and the 67-year-old’s position has strengthened ever since thanks to an unbeaten run of eight matches.

Hodgson is aware that very few international managers survive if they experience two successive tournament failures, however.

Many of his predecessors have been sacked after they failed at major tournaments and if he feels England supporters turn against him following Euro 2016, he will voluntarily leave his post.

“It’s tempting to think that one could stay longer, but it has got to be wanted, first by the FA (Football Association), and it has to be wanted by the English people,” Hodgson said.

“Sven (Goran Eriksson) and Fabio (Capello) were not that unpopular going into the tournament, but they come out of the tournament and everyone is saying ‘oh god, we don’t want the next two years (with them)’.

“I don’t want that at 68 or 69 years of age.”

Amid interest in Capello from Inter Milan, the FA handed a contract extension to the Italian just before the 2010 World Cup.

A couple of months later he was sacked following England’s humiliating 4-1 defeat to Germany.

Hodgson will not seek contract talks with the FA in the build up to next year’s European Championship and insists talk over his future will not overshadow the team’s preparations for the tournament.

The former Liverpool manager is relaxed about the whole issue.

“I love doing the job,” he added.

“I am happy doing the job at the moment. I would want that to continue if I was to continue. If I felt that that was not to be and that my time actually was being called, I would prefer to move away.

“I don’t know if I want to carry on or not.

“If you could promise me my life would be as great as it is at the moment for the next three years, of course I would be delighted to carry on. But I am a football realist. I know what football does and can do.

“I also know what overstaying your welcome can do and I would really not want to do that.

“It may be a good question for the FA, but I am very comfortable at the moment. If 2016 is my last tournament, I won’t be bitterly disappointed. If I can be persuaded to carry on, who knows?

“I am happy and I am relatively healthy and I would have not thought my age was my handicap.”

England coach Gary Neville and Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate are the bookmakers’ favourites to succeed Hodgson.

Both men are understood to have their admirers on the FA board.

Beyond those two, there are few English alternatives, and Hodgson is worried about the dwindling number of players who go into management.

He also accepts the offer of lucrative punditry work is proving too hard to turn down for some ex-professionals.

“Talented managers are losing their jobs and you don’t know when they are going to surface again because there aren’t many opportunities,” he said.

“You get people like Graeme Souness and Glenn Hoddle who are gifted football people, both fantastic players and both had successful record as managers, but you don’t see them rushing to be involved.”

Hodgson will join up with the England squad again next week ahead of their double-header against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia.

Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of the two fixtures because of a knee injury, but Hodgson says he will not call up a replacement.

Should one of his 23-man squad suffer an injury this weekend, Hodgson says he will call up Aston Villa’s in-form midfielder Tom Cleverley, who has not played for England since November 2013.

Published: Friday 29th May 2015 by Caroline Stephenson

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