Roy Hodgson will chalk up 40 years in coaching on January 1 but has no intention of calling it a day and has his sights set on taking England to the 2018 World Cup.
The Football Association will make a decision on manager Hodgson’s future after Euro 2016 – but have made it clear they will want to keep him in position for the World Cup campaign if England show signs of progress at the Euros in France.
Hodgson, whose current contract as England manager expires in July, says he has yet to have an in-depth discussion with FA chairman Greg Dyke and chief executive Martin Glenn about his future, but is determined to remain in coaching.
He said: “I complete 40 years on Jan 1, 2016. It will be my 41st year next year, which I’m very proud of. I don’t envisage anything at the moment, anything other than the tournament, but it depends how I feel.
“If you ask me at this moment in time, ‘can you see yourself working after next summer?’ I’d have to say, ‘yes, absolutely’.”
Dyke said if England failed to get out of their Euro 2016 group – their opponents are Wales, Russia and Slovakia – then he thought Hodgson would call it a day.
Dyke said: “We won’t decide on the future of the England manager until after the tournament.
“Obviously, if we’ve been successful, we will want him to stay on. If we’re less successful, then we’d have to think again.
“I think if we don’t get out of the group stage, Roy wouldn’t want to continue.”
Glenn said he, Hodgson and technical director Dan Ashworth will study a raft of statistics after the tournament to see how England have performed.
Hodgson said England’s 100 per cent record in qualifying had earned him plenty of support from FA executives, but admitted his plans for Euro 2016 could end up with a re-shaped squad if key players are injured.
He added: “I don’t know for the life of me what that squad will look like when I name it in May because I don’t know what players will be available.
“In the build-up to the March game I will become frustrated if I’ve got a 23 in my mind at the end of February watching games and seeing people carried off injured.
“It will be a damn sight more frustrating when I’ve got the 23 players, or 25 and really counting on to go to France, and then I’m seeing them disappear through injury or I’m learning that players I’m hoping will recover from injury might not do so.
“I had been counting on (Danny) Welbeck, (Jack) Wilshere, (Fabian) Delph, (Daniel) Sturridge, (Luke) Shaw until he broke his ankle.
“I’d been counting on them since June and yet still haven’t seen hide or hair of them since June. You could also add Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain to that as well.”
Dyke was famously pictured making a cut-throat gesture after England were handed a tough draw for the World Cup in Brazil, but is much more optimistic about Euro 2016 and believes the semi-finals is a realistic prospect.
Dyke added: “England-Wales is a good, exciting game, and my reaction to the draw overall is, ‘Yeah, that’s fine’.
“It’s not the hardest, it’s not the easiest, but it’s fine. We’ll be hopeful of getting through that group. I think we’ve got a good chance in this tournament.
“There’s some good sides but I think we’ve certainly got a good chance to get through to the last four and, if we do that, you can win.”
Wales’ manager Chris Coleman is relishing the chance for “payback” against Russia in the Euro 2016 finals.
All the focus may be on Wales being drawn in the same group as England, but the opportunity to get one over on Russia will also inspire Coleman after their controversial and agonising Euro 2004 play-off defeat.
Wales lost that play-off 1-0 over two legs but complained to UEFA – unsuccessfully – after it was revealed that Russian midfielder Egor Titov had played in the second leg despite failing a drugs test after the first.
Coleman said: “They broke our hearts that day and I still remember that feeling of losing in the play-offs.
“Payback – my son texted me that immediately after the draw: payback.”
Russia will be the final Group B opponents for Wales in Toulouse, and Coleman insisted it would be a mistake to focus too much on their match against England in Lens, with three points vital in the opening match against Slovakia in Bordeaux.
He said: “We must not take our mind off why we are there and that’s to get out of the group, not just to win one game.”
Full draw details: Page 2.