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EXCLUSIVE: ‘A BIT OF A SHOCK AND A LOT OF REGRETS’ – ROY HODGSON REFLECTS ON ENGLAND AND LIVERPOOL SPELLS

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Peter Schmeichel has revealed what he said to avoid getting sacked by Sir Alex Ferguson after facing Liverpool.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson took time with TNT Sports to reflect on his managerial career and two roles which particularly stick out are his spells at Liverpool and England. Hodgson says that it was shame that he joined Liverpool at a time of instability regarding the ownership, while he reflected on a “sad way to leave” as England boss after the shock loss to Iceland at the Euro 2016.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said he was disappointed with the “sad way” his time as England manager came to an end following the shock 2-1 defeat against Iceland at the 2016 Euros.
Hodgson was in charge of England for a four-year spell that included the 2012 Euros, 2014 World Cup, and 2016 Euros.
England’s first tournament under Hodgson ended with defeat on penalties against Italy at the quarter-final stage, before the Three Lions failed to progress to the knockout stages at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

‘SHOULD HAVE HANDLED IT BETTER’ – HODGSON ADMITS MANAGING RONALDO AND INTER STARS ‘DIFFICULT’

Hodgson’s reign came to an end after England were stunned by Iceland in the last-16 of the 2016 Euros in France.
Speaking to TNT Sports, the veteran manager reflected how it was an “incredible honour” to take charge of the national team, but acknowledged that the performances were not good enough.
“We didn’t play that well if I was being brutally honest,” he said when discussing his first tournament with England.
“We got completely outplayed in the quarter-final but it was a testament to the team’s resilience and their understanding of football being able to dig in for a result and we got it to penalties.
“We then did poorly on the penalties and went out in the quarter-finals but it was still in terms of results, the best result I got with England because the other two results were even worse.”
When talking about his experience in dealing with the narrative of England and penalties at a major tournament, Hodgson said: “You took with it some of the media complaints about what had happened in the past.
“Before we even got to that, it was: ‘What if it goes to penalties, we do badly at penalties, are you practising penalties?’ It was drummed into us to some extent that if it goes to penalties, you’re in trouble.
“So I don’t think the confidence was high because these guys listened to the media and what was being said. We thought: ‘Oh blimey, we’re at penalties now, is it going to go the way they tell us it always goes?’ And it did.
“Our penalty taking wasn’t good enough but it’s like everything else. Teams that lose on penalties, I get irritated by people suggesting they didn’t concentrate, they didn’t take it seriously enough, they didn’t practice. Of course you do.
I remember doing a fair amount of penalty-kick practice just to satisfy everybody really, just to tick the box.
“What we said was when you get up there, two things are very important: You know the penalty that you think is your penalty so have confidence and take it well. Don’t start thinking maybe I should change. Stick with what you really think.
“We gave good advice and we did practice but we missed and we went out. If we would’ve won that day, we couldn’t say that we deserved to be here because Italy deserved to be in the semi-finals, they were a better team than us.”
Asked to describe his emotions after that shock exit in his last tournament, Hodgson said: “I was prepared for the parting because my contract was at an end. I realised that to get an extension to the contract, we would have to do well in the Euros and at least get further to the quarter-finals where we would’ve met France.
“We had to get that far if my tenure was even going to be considered in terms of being prolonged, so I was prepared to leave. But it was a sad way to leave because it was such a poor and disappointing performance against a team that really, nine times out of 10, we could and should’ve beaten.
“We lost it in a way which left us with a lot of regrets. I’m sure players directly after tournaments, they want to find other excuses for things but I’m certain now that many of those players in that team, if I met them and sat with them like I’m doing with you, they would accept that we didn’t live up to what we know we can and should’ve done. Because there was nothing in the preparation that led us to believe that this isn’t going to go well. It came as a bit of a shock to us all.”
The 76-year-old went on to say that managing England was the most pressure he had felt during his career and admitted that himself and his players during that time didn’t live up to expectations.
“You’re representing a nation where football is the major interest and it’s not only the No. 1 game, it’s so far and away the No. 1 game,” he explained.
“We’ve got other good sports where we are very good at but football is the glue which knits sporting people in England together. What the national team does is of vital importance and that’s pressure on you because every time you go out, you realise that the nation is watching and wants to see a good performance, they want to see the team win, they want to see us progress and ideally they want to see us win a major tournament.
“Funnily enough, the qualifiers during that period of time went pretty well but we were poor unfortunately in the tournaments and we didn’t play well enough, that’s how simple it was.
“You can look back and think we were a little bit unlucky there and this so easily could’ve been different but the bottom line was with the group of players we had, we weren’t able to get them to produce the level of performance to get us as far in the tournament as we should’ve got, and luckily that’s changed in the last five or six years because Gareth [Southgate] has put a team together which does.”
Hodgson had short spells in charge of Liverpool and West Brom before taking charge of England.
He was appointed Reds boss in July 2010 but left just six months later and was replaced by club legend Kenny Dalglish.
Hodgson looks back at his time at Anfield as a “real honour” but said he wasn’t helped with the club undergoing instability with the ownership.
“Liverpool’s a fantastic football club and it’s a real honour to be invited to be the manager of Liverpool,” he said.
“I didn’t probably get invited to be the manager of the club at the best possible time. It came after the success with Fulham so I suppose that’s why they went for me.
“But it wasn’t a situation where the club was as stable as it now is because of the ownership change. To be fair to Martin Broughton who was handling the takeover with Christian Purslow, they did both make it clear we’re in charge and we’re making the appointment now but there’s a new group coming in, you might not find it quite so easy.
“Of course, the problem was that we started badly, we didn’t win enough games and as a result we were down in mid-table and unfortunately you don’t survive that especially when Kenny was in the wings ready to take over.
“My dismissal there was one that I took more sanguinely than the Blackburn one. It only hurt in the sense that I was disappointed that if I could’ve come in here with a slightly different possibility to change things, transfer window [with] a bit of money to spend and more time with the players.
“But all managers say that. But the players were fine, I’ve got no real criticism there. They did the best they could do to help me out by trying to do what we were planning to do but we lost games and that’s something you can’t do as a football manager.”

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