Hodgson turns attention to Euros

22 August 2014 07:01

Roy Hodgson has drawn a line under England's dismal World Cup campaign and now has his sights set on winning Euro 2016.

Hodgson led England to their fastest exit in World Cup history this summer.

Under the former Liverpool and West Brom manager, England finished bottom of their group with just one point thanks to defeats to Italy and Uruguay, plus a dour 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Having had eight weeks to reflect on the below-par performance in Brazil, Hodgson is optimistic about England's immediate future.

"As a manager, you always hope your best moment is to come. It's dangerous to think too much about the past and get hung up on matches in the past," Hodgson told a Live Google+Hangout session in London, which was also attended by the other Home Nations' managers Chris Coleman (Wales), Gordon Strachan (Scotland) and Michael O'Neill (Northern Ireland).

"There will be moments you look back on with pride and others sorrow and regret, but that is part of life as a football manager.

"The great thing is that there is an awful lot to look forward to."

Hodgson is banking on the likes of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson excelling in a new era, which will begin next month when England face Norway and Switzerland.

The squad for those two games, which will be announced on Thursday, will not contain the likes of Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole, who have retired, while there are doubts over whether 36-year-old Frank Lampard will also be included.

Despite the loss of experienced heads, Hodgson is not afraid of what lies ahead and he claims the young, inexperienced players he took to Brazil will be in a much better position to impress when they go to the European Championship in two years' time.

"If you are replacing a 100-cap man with a 10-cap man he needs to get that experience of the ups and downs of a 100-cap man, and in the course of the next two years the players will get that experience," said Hodgson, who took only six players with World Cup experience to Brazil.

"Some of the top clubs in the league are showing faith in their young players.

"I hope the players who we take to Euro 2016, assuming we qualify, will be much more ready than they are now."

The early signs are England fans do not share Hodgson's optimism.

As of Thursday, only 17,000 tickets had been sold for England's friendly against Norway at Wembley on September 3.

Five days later, Hodgson's men travel to Basle to face Switzerland in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

Despite the pessimism surrounding his team, Hodgson says England will head into the qualifying campaign with the overall ambition of winning the 24-team tournament in France two years down the line.

"I don't think we will ever go into a campaign as England without setting to win it," Hodgson said.

"There will be stronger teams in front of us, but we know how small the margins are in tournaments.

"We have seen lots of teams win major tournaments who are not fancied to win it at all, like Denmark in '92, Greece more recently (at Euro 2004).

"We are going to plan well, set up well and give the players as much confidence as we can give them."

Source: PA