Hodgson did not win two-man race – Bernstein

Football Association chairman David Bernstein says Roy Hodgson’s previous experience of international and tournament football was a key factor in appointing him as England’s new head coach.

Hodgson has signed a four-year contract as Fabio Capello’s successor although he will oversee current club West Brom’s final two games of the campaign.

The 64-year-old led Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup and had a successful spell in charge of Finland a decade later

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Bernstein said: “We (the FA board) were unanimous in choosing Roy, a manager of vast experience of international and European football.

“This is the first time the FA have appointed an England manager with any previous experience of international football.

“He has experience of major tournaments, having taken Switzerland to the World Cup in 1994. That experience can only help us with our plans for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

“He has outstanding contacts through his work with UEFA and FIFA, and can walk into any training ground around the world and command respect.

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“This experience, ability and track record of building teams made him the outstanding candidate for us.”

Bernstein refused to discuss why the FA had not contacted the bookmakers’ favourite Harry Redknapp.

But he insisted financial considerations – Hodgson will be out of contract in June at Albion – were not an issue in making the appointment.

Bernstein said: “First of all, I’m not going to discuss any other manager or club. We had a shortlist, and the shortlist was not two people.

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“It was more than two people. It was never a two-man race. We are very comfortable with what we did.

“Finance was also not a factor in the decision. We were driven purely by the desire to get the best person. We are unanimously of the view that Roy is the best man for the job.”

FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking admits Hodgson faces a tough task to bring success during Euro 2012 but believes he can improve the squad.

Brooking said: “It’s going to be a tough job, whoever the manager is. Sven (Goran Eriksson) was unlucky in 2004. In 2006 we had some injuries. In 2008 we didn’t qualify, and 2010 we had a poor tournament.”

He added: “The coach we’ve appointed can improve the group, which feels they haven’t done themselves justice in recent tournaments.

“The priority has to be the results of the first team.”