LONDON: Roy Hodgson could be making his media derby as England’s new manager within 48 hours after four hours of talks with Football Association bosses at Wembley.
The West Bromwich Albion boss arrived just before 3pm to meet the four-man Club England board – David Bernstein, Alex Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking and Adrian Bevington – to open negotiations after his club granted permission for him to become Fabio Capello’s successor. He left just after 7pm without making any comment but the FA is expected to make a statement at some time within the next 24 hours.
It is expected that Hodgson, the FA’s only choice, will complete the Premier League season with West Brom before taking charge for England’s two pre-Euro 2012 friendlies, against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and Belgium for his first game at Wembley, seven days later.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, overwhelming favourite until the approach to Hodgson at the weekend, praised the former Switzerland, Finland, Inter, Liverpool and Fulham boss.
Redknapp said: “I don’t hold grudges. There’s no problem. If Roy takes the job I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy. I’m sure he’ll be a big success. I still think England’s got some great players, I really do. I think there’s some fantastic players in this country, some young players coming through, some great experienced players.
“I’m looking forward to the European Championships, looking forward to watching it. Life couldn’t be better, the sun’s shining, my health is good, I’m a very lucky man.”
England’s 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst is among those who thought Redknapp the ideal candidate. Even so, he believes England have semi-final potential at Euro 2012.#
Hurst said: “We are capable of getting at least to the semi-finals. 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. 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.”
Before his duties with West Brom are over, Hodgson is expected to name his 23-man Euro 2012 squad, possibly on May 10, the date stated by caretaker Stuart Pearce last week as the one set aside for the announcement.
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