Roy Hodgson admits he will have to win over the England players and supporters after being appointed as Fabio Capello’s successor.
Hodgson has signed a four-year contract and will lead England into Euro 2012 after completing the domestic season with his current employers West Bromwich Albion.
But he is aware of the need to prove himself to fans who had expected Harry Redknapp to be named in the role, while many of the players had voiced their backing for the Tottenham manager.
Hodgson said: “The scrutiny will be big, I understand that. Inter Milan wasn’t exactly too easy, though, when I was there.
“We all know the England manager’s job is the pinnacle of success for every English manager but it brings scrutiny and criticism, so I have to be prepared for that.
“It’s always a big job to win people over. I’m prepared for criticism. The fact is I took it at Liverpool and I’ll take it here.
“It’s important the players buy into what we do, and that the country buy into what we’re trying to do. I’m expecting a lot of support from everybody.
“I’m hoping everyone in England gets behind their football team because we want to give this country the successful football team we’ve been waiting for since 1966.”
In terms of gaining the backing of the squad, Hodgson admitted: “Every coach has to win over the players. There’s no question about that.
“It won’t be the first time I’ve stepped into a group of players, many of whom I don’t know.
“I’d like to think, with my CV, I’ll command respect.
“But every coach has to win the players over, get them on his side, and make sure they’re united behind the cause.
“Our cause is a very big one. We are England, the England football team. We interest a lot of people. I have a lot of responsibility – but so do the players.”
Hodgson accepts the task of ensuring England are successful at Euro 2012 has become more challenging given Capello’s decision to quit three months ago.
He has only six weeks to prepare before the opening game against France on June 11 and is delaying naming his squad until the end of the domestic campaign.
Hodgson said: “It’s going to be difficult, of course. But hopefully I have a lot of time on my hands to make the decisions necessary.
“The players are pretty well known to me, even if I haven’t worked with many of them.
“We always have to go into tournaments to win them because we’re a major footballing nation.
“It will never be easy, and will be more difficult here because the man who qualified the team isn’t with us and I’ve taken over at a late stage.
“But no one would expect anything less of us than to go there trying to win it.”
Hodgson confirmed Wayne Rooney would be part of his squad despite being suspended for the opening two group matches.
But he wants time to consider other matters including the John Terry-Rio Ferdinand relationship and whether Steven Gerrard, who worked under him at Liverpool, will be his captain.
Hodgson said: “The important thing is to speak to as many players as possible. John and Rio, as respected members of the team, are going to be two I need to speak to.
“Will Gerrard be England captain? That’s another thing that will have to be carefully thought out. It’s one of the things that will occupy my time in the days ahead.
“But I’m looking forward very much to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us and to his contribution, even if he can’t play in the first two games.”
Hodgson revealed he had received a good luck message from Redknapp, who had been the odds-on favourite since Capello quit until the FA approached West Brom at the weekend for permission to speak to Hodgson.
He said: “I’ve got great respect for Harry. He’s sent me a voicemail message, which I’ll reply to, and has been very gracious.
“We’re great friends who have unwittingly become rivals, but we’ll be friends again.”
The key factor to Hodgson’s appointment: Page 22.