herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

hodgson to get upgrade

Jagielka backs England boss ahead of clash with Lithuania

ENGLISH Football Association chairman Greg Dyke is planning contract talks with Roy Hodgson and Phil Jagielka says the players are "desperate" for the England manager to stay on.

Life since succeeding Fabio Capello at the helm in May 2012 has been far from plain sailing for the 67-year-old, but there is at least now a sense of positivity around the national team.

The World Cup debacle led to understandable questions about Hodgson's position, yet the FA decided to honour his contract through Euro 2016.

Qualification is all but assured after England began their campaign with four straight wins, so focus has turned to the manager's future, which Dyke plans to sort months before the tournament in France.

"I get on quite well with Roy and I chat to him all the time," the FA chairman said. "We have not talked about contracts yet."

"We will have the discussion with Roy in the next nine months to a year.

"When we decided in Brazil that we wanted Roy to continue with his contract, we thought 'he's got a contract, he sees it through'. Sometime in the next year we will discuss what happens afterwards.

"We genuinely haven't discussed it (yet)."

Dyke confirmed Hodgson would attend the draw for the World Cup qualifying stages in Russia this summer.

The FA chairman will not attend the event, though, as he does not want a repeat performance of the World Cup draw in 2013 when he slid his index finger across his throat after Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica were chosen in England's group, therefore implying Hodgson's team were doomed.

"Roy will go to St Petersburg for the draw in July," Dyke said. "I am not allowed to go after what happened last time!"

Hodgson will no doubt face more questions about his future at yesterday's press conference previewing the Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania.

Few expect the Three Lions boss to stray from his regular coy response on the subject, although his squad have been far more vocal about it.

Jagielka is the latest high-profile player to express his desire for a new deal to be given to Hodgson, who will be 70 when the 2018 World Cup comes around.

"We were all massively disappointed with the way the World Cup went," the 32-year-old defender said.

"Qualifying went pretty well and we were all confident to have a good World Cup, but unfortunately it never happened."

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