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Monday 5 December 2016

'Bring it on' says England boss Sam

Former Sunderland boss Allardyce is not scared of what awaits him in the England job. Picture Credit: REUTERS
Former Sunderland boss Allardyce is not scared of what awaits him in the England job. Picture Credit: REUTERS

Sam Allardyce has no doubt he is tough enough to deal with the challenges of the England manager's job and declared: "Bring it on."

The 61-year-old dismissed suggestions the job was a poisoned chalice after he was officially unveiled by the English Football Association on yesterday.

Allardyce replaces Roy Hodgson after the former manager quit following England's disastrous Euro 2016 campaign, where they were dumped out of the competition by Iceland.

England also failed to get out of the group at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and have not won a major competition since lifting the World Cup 50 years ago.

But Allardyce, who left Sunderland this week after keeping them in the Premier League last season, is not scared of the job.

He said: "Bring it on, hey lads. I'm hardened over many, many years. You toughen yourself for whatever job you take. You take the good with the bad, otherwise you don't do it - don't bother.

"I am here because I want to be here, because I want the challenge, I'm here because I think I can make the team better and I think I'm tough enough to take it. People see me as being able to turn a club around very quickly and I suppose that comes with taking West Ham up, saving Blackburn Rovers and now saving Sunderland. I consider myself to be much more than that but that is the sort of label I've been left with.

"I can turn things around pretty quickly and get amongst teams to try to create a successful journey and a successful journey starts with all of us pulling together.

"I have managed world class players, Fernando Hierro, Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha, Gary Speed, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Owen.

"The good thing about really talented players is they make your life easier. They know what you want and it takes you less time. Working with the England elite players is going to be exiting for me.

"When it comes to winning no trophies or cups, unfortunately as an English manager I never really got the chance to go right to the top of the Premier League."

Allardyce, who has added his former Bolton assistant Sammy Lee to his coaching staff, was interviewed for the job in 2006 but lost out to Steve McClaren. He said: "I was good enough then. I don't know (why he did not get the job) perhaps it was political, I don't know."

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