England’s new manager Roy Hodgson had his first press conference today where he called for supporters to back the national side.
“It is a very proud day for me, I’m a very happy man to be offered the chance to manage my country,” Hodgson said. “I’m looking forward to the task ahead. Everyone knows it is not an easy one but I’m hoping that everyone, fans and supporters will get behind the team.
“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.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hodgson acknowledged he did not have much time to settle into the job before Euro 2012 but said:
“It’s going to be difficult of course, but hopefully I’ve got time. Obviously I’ve been working here 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.”
Hodgson skipped over the difficult questions like would he pick both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand in his squad, or select Steven Gerrard as his captain. Those decisions will be made later this month, but Hodgson did move to end any debate about whether Wayne Rooney would be part of the final squad or not.
“I’m looking forward to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us and making a contribution even though he cannot play the first two games,” he said.
Asked about England’s prospects at the Euros, Hodgson added:
“England always have to go in 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.”