Beleaguered Hodgson told England job safe until 2016 despite exit
Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30
Roy Hodgson has been assured he will remain England manager despite overseeing their fastest-ever World Cup exit.
Hodgson's humiliation was complete yesterday when Costa Rica beat Italy to send his England crashing out of the tournament after just two matches, their worst performance at any World Cup finals.
But English FA chairman Greg Dyke said Hodgson would carry on for at least another two years, regardless of the outcome of England's final Group D game against the Costa Ricans on Tuesday.
Dyke telephoned Hodgson on Thursday evening to tell him his job was safe, as were those of his assistants Ray Lewington and Gary Neville, and that remained Dyke's position despite Costa Rica's 1-0 win ensuring England failed to progress from the opening stage for the first time since 1958.
"We're supportive of Roy Hodgson and we've asked him to stay as manager," said Dyke, clarifying he wanted Hodgson to see out his £3m-a-year contract which runs until after the European Championship in France in 2016. "That's the view of myself, it's the view of others here and it's the view of the FA."
Sacking Hodgson would have cost the FA the full £6m he is due on his contract, and the manager said on Thursday evening he would not resign.
A third successive defeat in what is now for England a dead rubber against Costa Rica on Tuesday will heap further public pressure on Hodgson, but the FA is adamant he will not be dismissed, insisting it is pleased with the team spirit he has fostered at senior level and his role in developing English youngsters.
There is also an acknowledgement that England's two defeats, against Italy on Uruguay, came against sides ranked higher than them.
Dyke added: "Everybody thought we played really well in the first game and narrowly lost. In the second game, it could have gone either way. We were not humiliated or anything like that. They were narrow defeats, but it is for the football people, not for me, to identify why we did not win.
"We do not see any value in changing Roy. 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 Championship."
Hodgson was also backed by a host of players, who insisted England had made progress since he succeeded Fabio Capello two years ago.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart said: "I think I speak for all the players, we are proud to play for Roy Hodgson. He's a great manager, he's a very passionate man and someone that I have got an awful lot of respect for and I hope to continue playing for."
Asked if England had progressed under the 66-year-old, Hart said: "Saying yes sounds like a stupid thing to say, but I do."
Hart also rejected suggestions that England simply had not been good enough in Brazil. "I imagine that is what some people will come up with," he said. "We don't feel that inside the camp. We've got bags of quality, bags of people coming through, great leaders, great experienced players in that dressing-room and just came up short in two games."
Leighton Baines, the left-back who was controversially selected ahead of Ashley Cole, said: "We are going in the right direction. There are some improvements to be made but I think we have made some positive strides. Roy Hodgson has given everyone a go and you would imagine some of the young lads are going to be around for many, many years."
Defender Gary Cahill described the dejection in the England dressing-room: "It is the worst feeling I have had as a player."
England's unprecedented demise will fuel the debate over whether Hodgson has enough players to choose from.
Dyke, whose controversial England commission attempted to address the matter, said: "We know that we have a problem, that there are not as many English players playing in the Premier League or even the Championship now as there used to be. Therefore, the choice is less, but that is what we have got to go from and I don't think that is a cause for what has happened here."
Dyke also refused to revise his target of England lifting the World Cup in 2022, insisting he still believed it was possible.
"Yes I do, actually, but I think it means lots of changes in English football," he said. "I think there is a real chance that we can develop and win in 2022."
Dyke's optimism may not be shared by long-suffering fans and potential sponsors, who are unlikely to flock to support England following another flop. (© Daily Telegraph, London)