Roy Hodgson retains the full backing of the Football Association and will continue as England manager heading into the qualification campaign for Euro 2016 despite the national side enduring their worst World Cup performance in 60 years.
Successive defeats by Italy and Uruguay left England bottom of Group D and Costa Rica’s win over Italy rubberstamped their exit on Friday. Those setbacks have placed greater scrutiny on Hodgson’s tenure, yet the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, last night offered his public backing for the 66-year-old having told him during a telephone conversation on Thursday night that he wanted him and his coaching staff to stay on. “We’re supportive of Roy Hodgson. We’ve asked him to stay as manager,” he said. “We do not see any value in changing. We think Roy has done a good job and it is an approach over four years and we hope to do better in the European Championships.”
Hodgson has two years still to run on a £3m-a-year contract and has no intention of resigning. Indeed, those within the Club England set-up feel Hodgson has cultivated the best team spirit for years and will continue to offer him their backing regardless of the result against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.
The manager himself has defended England’s approach at the finals and claimed that the future remains bright. “I believe the team going forward will be a very good team,” said Hodgson. “I think there are good young players. Even against Uruguay we saw some good individual performances and the young ones that came on did quite well. I don’t think there’s any need to have any doubts this England group of players will go on to do good things in the time ahead. But results colour everything.
“We’ve worked so hard and done so much preparation for this tournament. We think we came here well prepared. But we’ve failed. We obviously had really big hopes we were going to make the nation proud by going far in the tournament and we haven’t done that. So any words on the other subjects are pretty empty at the moment.”
The strength of the 66-year-old’s relationship with Gareth Southgate, who is overseeing the Under-21s, will also work in the senior manager’s favour, with that link considered key in terms of the future development of the national side. Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley have all now tasted life at a major tournament – although the Southampton full-back has yet to feature – and Hodgson said he had no regrets over the way England approached the finals in Brazil.
Indeed he stood by his squad selection despite Stuart Pearce among others criticising the approach. “Other countries must look at us and laugh at times, they really must,” the former manager of the Under-21s said.
“The team is evolving,” added Hodgson. “I think it will continue to evolve, of course. I’m proud of the way they’ve approached this tournament and everything they’ve put into it. At the moment I’m just devastated they’ve got nothing out of it. Maybe I’m too close to it. You see things from a different perspective, a different height, but I don’t think we could’ve done much more on Thursday. The Uruguayans are a very different team to play against than Italy. The Italians are quite an offensive team so they give you more chances on the counterattack and they give you more room to play. We didn’t get much room to play from Uruguay but on the other hand they didn’t do too much in our half of the field for long periods of time.
“I’m very low. So are the players. We had high hopes, we thought we could make an impact. But unfortunately we haven’t won the games. To make an impact you’ve got to win games and we’ve lost both. We’ve had an approach. That approach has not wavered. But we’ve conceded four goals and scored two. It’s not much more complicated than that.”