Belfast Telegraph

FA set to announce Hodgson appointment

Roy Hodgson is expected to be confirmed as England manager after spending four hours at Wembley engaged in "positive" discussions with the Football Association.

Hodgson arrived at just before 3pm on Monday for a meeting with FA chairman David Bernstein, chief executive Alex Horne, director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking and Club England managing director Adrian Bevington that was described as friendly, although there was no official comment.

The talks are thought to have continued well into the evening, and with the FA mindful that the eyes of the football world were on events at the Etihad Stadium, they instead opted to update further at some point on Tuesday - with the news seemingly certain to be that Hodgson has got the job.

Certainly, FA insiders were at pains to stress Hodgson was attending a "meeting" rather than an interview, offering further proof that he remains the only man on their radar.

It is anticipated Hodgson will complete the Premier League season with West Brom before taking charge for England's two Euro 2012 warm-up games against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and Belgium, for his first game at Wembley, seven days later.

Then it is on to Poland and Ukraine, where World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst believes England are capable of reaching the semi-finals.

There is still a sense of disbelief that Harry Redknapp has been overlooked, with Hurst among those who felt the Tottenham manager was the ideal candidate.

However, he does not believe Hodgson's likely appointment will have a negative impact on the overall aims this summer. "Whether we had a manager or not, I still think we are capable of getting at least to the semi-finals," said Hurst. "I don't see any reason why we can't get to that level and if we can, you never know what could happen.

"Roy has not been involved in the preparations to date and that's not ideal. When you have a manager in place quite a while before, the preparation is going to be very natural, as it was with us in 1966.

"But, in some respects, I see that as a positive. It might take the pressure off, certainly from the media and the fans, to be successful this year. That could be a good thing because expectation is huge on the manager and the players."


From Belfast Telegraph