Monday 11 December 2017

Losing England job was one of the darkest moments of my career' - New Palace boss Sam Allardyce

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce
Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce Newsdesk Newsdesk

Sam Allardyce has admitted losing the England job was one of the "darkest moments" of his career.

Allardyce was sacked just 67 days into the role after making ill-advised comments while in conversation with undercover reporters in a newspaper sting.

The 62-year-old is now back in management three months later after taking over at Crystal Palace, agreeing a two-and-a-half-year deal on Friday night.

Allardyce had always described the England manager role as his dream job and, in an interview with Sky Sports, he has described how low he felt in the aftermath of his dismissal.

"The first four weeks was something that was one of the darkest moments in my career, certainly the early reaction which was a bit hysterical to say the least, looking back on it," he said.

"I'm talking about me and my wife and my family, we all had to deal with that problem - my children, my grandchildren at school.

"But eventually time passes by, you overcome those adversities and you move on. Moving on for me is taking this job."

Allardyce has replaced Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park and been handed the task of keeping Palace in the Premier League.

The former Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle and West Ham chief took his first training session on Saturday morning, ahead of his first match at Watford on Boxing Day.

The Eagles are currently one point above the relegation having won just once in their last 11 matches.

The situation is nothing new to Allardyce, however.

When he took over at Sunderland last October they were 19th with just three points from their first eight games of the season.

"You've got to do it, it's part of the quick process to try to turn around a difficult situation at the moment," he added.

"It's not as difficult as the position Sunderland were in, I don't think."

Allardyce has never been relegated while at the helm of a Premier League club, and his achievement of keeping Sunderland up last term was followed by his appointment as England boss in July.

Allardyce signed an initial two-year contract to replace Roy Hodgson, who departed in the wake of the disastrous Euro 2016 campaign.

He said at the time: "I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted."

But Allardyce presided over just one match, in Slovakia on September 4, as an Adam Lallana goal deep into injury-time secured a 1-0 victory in the opening World Cup qualifier.

After he was caught up in an investigation by the Daily Telegraph, Allardyce was summoned to Wembley to meet with Football Association chiefs and left the role on September 27.

Gareth Southgate took over as interim England manager for four matches and was then appointed as Allardyce's successor on November 30 when he signed a four-year contract.

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