Scottish Daily Mail

They think it’s all over ... it is now!

England exit but FA keep faith in Hodgson


ENGLAND last night crashed out of the World Cup but embattled manager Roy Hodgson has been assured his j ob i s safe until the 2016 European Championsh­ip.

Despite Costa Rica’s 1-0 win over Italy sealing England’s f ate, FA chairman Greg Dyke insisted that Hodgson was the right man to lead them at the Euros in France despite an embarrassi­ngly early exit in Brazil.

Dyke said: ‘We’re supportive of Roy Hodgson, we’ve asked him to stay as manager.’

When asked if Hodgson would remain in his job until the end of his contract at the 2016 Euros, Dyke added: ‘That is the view of myself, of everybody else here (in Brazil) and of others in the FA. They were narrow defeats but it is

for the football people to decide what went wrong.

‘Roy has done a good job and it was always an approach for four years and we hope to do better in the European Championsh­ip. We don’t see any value in changing.

‘Everybody thought we played really well in the first game (against Italy) and narrowly lost. In the second game it could have gone either way. We were not humiliated. They were narrow defeats, but it is for the football people, not for me, to identify why we did not win.’

Dyke has targeted victory at the 2022 World Cup. When asked if that target was still attainable, he said: ‘Yes, I do, but it means lots of changes in English football. There is a real chance that we can develop and win in 2022 — that is the aim.’

The astonishin­g claim that England are future World Cup winners, coming after their earliest exit from the tournament since 1958, was echoed by England legend Sir Trevor Brooking, who insisted yesterday that they can win the World Cup in 2018.

He believes it is realistic to expect success in either Russia or the European Championsh­ip two years later.

‘It will be an exciting time in the next four to six years in English football,’ said Brooking. ‘I think 2018, 2020 is the time when quite a few of our younger players would get a bit of experience.

‘Roy has done really well to include some of those in this tournament. Obviously you have 2016, 2018, 2020 ahead, if you give them a little time.

‘Just the fact Roy has had five or six weeks to work with them during the tournament will augur well going forward.

‘I have been involved with the younger teams for a little while so you could see the players coming through.

‘If you include the two lads, John Stones and John Flanagan, who came with us to Miami (for the pre-tournament training camp) and then went back. Of that 25-man squad, 10 of them are 23 or under (Jordan Henderson has since turned 24).

‘I think that augurs well. People like Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley, those players are getting massive experience.

‘ Even someone l i ke Jack Wilshere, who has been injured for a couple of years, is still only 22. There is a really good, young nucleus in the squad.’

Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf, however, questioned whether England’s squad had enough belief to succeed.

He told Sportsmail: ‘You could see it in the way they celebrated Wayne Rooney’s goal.

‘It was such a big goal for England: the equaliser in the match and Rooney’s long-awaited first goal at the World Cup, yet the players didn’t celebrate the moment together.

‘It was odd as it was very much a team goal, with various players involved in the build-up.

‘The England players looked relieved rather than ecstatic. The breakthrou­gh should have been celebrated as a team and i t should have displayed a determinat­ion to go on to win the match.

‘For me, that incident was an indication of the emotional and mental state of the team.

‘After the equaliser, they just didn’t push on and, instead, they made some costly mistakes at the back.

‘The talent is there but playing for England seems to produce a mental blockage for some players.

‘ England have wonderful players with lots of potential. With a bit more freedom, they might just have a bit more luck.’

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