Big Sam ‘very proud’ to be Eng­land boss

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

SAM AL­LARDYCE said yes­ter­day that he was “very proud” to be named the new Eng­land man­ager, but re­fused to con­firm that star striker Wayne Rooney would re­main as cap­tain.

The 61-year-old suc­ceeds Roy Hodgson, who quit af­ter Eng­land hu­mil­i­at­ingly lost to min­nows Ice­land in the last 16 of Euro 2016, trig­ger­ing another bout of soul-search­ing in English foot­ball.

The fate of Rooney — both as a starter in the team and as skip­per — is among the weighty is­sues Al­lardyce will need to con­front.

“It is far too early to make any pre­dic­tions and I will not make any de­ci­sions un­til I meet the play­ers and coach­ing staff,” said Al­lardyce, who re­vealed that Sammy Lee, an as­sis­tant to him at Bolton and who has pre­vi­ous Eng­land ex­pe­ri­ence un­der Sven-Go­ran Eriks­son, would be part of his back­room staff.

“It is my first day in and get­ting my feet un­der the ta­ble and meet­ing ev­ery­one.”

Al­lardyce, who looked re­laxed to the ex­tent he dis­pensed with the for­mal at­tire of a tie, said his strength was his well-earned rep­u­ta­tion as a man ca­pa­ble of go­ing in and mo­ti­vat­ing the play­ers to be­lieve in them­selves.

“It is 10 years since I was last in­ter­viewed and to be here is a huge thrill for me,” said Al­lardyce, who lost out to Steve McClaren af­ter Eriks­son stepped down fol­low­ing the 2006 World Cup.

“I fit the chair, I hope I do and I have the ex­pe­ri­ence to pass on and to chal­lenge the team and my­self.

“Man-man­age­ment is my big­gest as­set — one, to help the play­ers en­joy them­selves, and two, to make them bet­ter than they al­ready are.

“I have a rep­u­ta­tion for turn­ing a club around very quickly but I con­sider my­self to be much more than that.

“I can turn things around and I start do­ing that by get­ting among the staff and the team and set­ting out on a jour­ney.

“To be a suc­cess­ful jour­ney, though, it has to be ev­ery­body pulling to­gether.” — Su­perS­port

Sam Al­lardyce

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