Hodgson to remain as England boss

Roy Hodgson is to be kept on as England manager

Roy Hodgson is to be kept on as England manager

First published in National Sport News © by

Roy Hodgson has avoided the sack despite leading England through their worst World Cup campaign in history.

England's failure to qualify from their group was confirmed on Friday when Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0 in Natal.

It is the first time England have failed to reach the knockout stages since 1958, and it is also the only time the Three Lions have been eliminated from the World Cup after two matches.

But despite the unwanted records, the Football Association has vowed to stand by Hodgson until his contract expires at the end of Euro 2016.

"We're supportive of Roy Hodgson, we've asked him to stay as manager," FA chairman Greg Dyke said.

"That is the view of myself, of everybody else here (in Brazil) and of others in the FA."

Hodgson went into the tournament full of promise. He told England fans to put a tenner on England to go all the way just before the draw was made last December.

A considerable amount of money was spent to ensure England were in the best possible shape when they landed in Brazil, but it was not enough.

Hodgson now has the unwanted tag of being the first manager to lead England to defeat in their first two World Cup games.

Yet Dyke, and the rest of the FA hierarchy have seen enough promise in England's performances to believe Hodgson is the man to lead the national side for the next two years.

"We do not see any value in changing Roy," he added. "We think Roy has done a good job.

"It is an approach over four years and we hope to do better in the European Championships.

"Everybody thought we played really well in the first game and narrowly lost.

"The second game could have gone either way. We were not humiliated.

"They were narrow defeats."

And Dyke still believes England are on course to attain his target of winning the 2022 World Cup.

"I do still believe that," he said. "There is a real chance that we can develop and win in 2022 - that is the aim."

But for Hodgson, his focus is not on 2022. It is on the next four days.

It was always unlikely Hodgson would be sacked - partly because there is a shortage of potential home-grown successors.

But Hodgson knows he has to restore a bit of pride to his damaged reputation when he sends his team out to face unbeaten Group D leaders Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

To do that, Hodgson and the squad will need lifting over the course of the next few days.

"I'm very low," said a shell-shocked Hodgson after the match.

"I am numb with disappointment and sadness that so many hopes and dreams and so much work has been blown away.

"We have 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."

Hodgson has delivered on his vow to make England's play more easy on the eye after their turgid displays at Euro 2012.

And to be fair to the England manager, he has not been too scared to throw in an exciting crop of new players - albeit with mixed results.

The ones that have played well under Hodgson - the likes of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana and to a lesser extent, Jordan Henderson - now have valuable World Cup experience under their belts.

They have played some good stuff too. Sterling's performance against Italy had England fans purring with excitement.

And the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jay Rodriguez and Andros Townsend will all be available to the manager next season when they recover from injury.

Hodgson is also enthusiastic about the futures of young defenders John Stones and Jon Flanagan, who were put on standby for Brazil.

So Hodgson is right to have some grounds for optimism for the years ahead.

"I believe the team going forward will be a very good team," Hodgson said.

"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'm proud of the way they've approached this tournament and everything they put into it.

"The team will evolve, of course."

Part of that evolution process will involve Hodgson cutting some members from the squad.

Frank Lampard, 36, will almost certainly retire from international football after the World Cup.

Steven Gerrard, 34, is still to decide whether he wants to play on.

"It's not the moment to talk about that," said Gerrard, who is four appearances short of becoming England's most-capped outfield player.

"Let's see what happens over the next four or five days and I'll talk about it again."

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