'My first challenge to overcome is winning over any doubtful players' - England boss Hodgson

The 64-year-old has admitted that he faces a tough task in his new role but is confident that he will be a hit as he looks to finally end the country’s trophy drought
New England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that the first task he faces is to win over the Three Lions' players following his appointment.

A number of players had called for Harry Redknapp to take over the role following Fabio Capello’s resignation in February, but Hodgson is confident that his managerial record will help to convince any doubters that he is the right choice to replace the Italian.

He told reporters: "Every coach has got to win over players, there's no question of that, that's part of your job. It won't be the first time I step into a job where I'm meeting a group of players, many of whom I don't know, and my first job is to win them over.

"I'd like to think that, given my CV, given the work I've done over the years, I've succeeded fairly well with that.

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"I don't have any problems with it but I think every coach's job when he enters a new job is to win the players over, to make certain he gets the players on his side, to make certain the players are united if you like behind the cause, and our cause is a very important one, a very big one.

“It's the England football team. It interests a lot of people. I have a lot of responsibility but then so do the players."

The 64-year-old also acknowledged that there are a number of differences between managing a club and leading a country, but feels that his previous experiences will help him.

"As a club coach you get a lot more time with your players. You get them on a daily basis and if you've got a message to get across you can sometimes put that message across somewhat easier than you can with a national team," he observed.

"But I've been with national teams as well, I know the difficulties involved.

"But if you ask me if it put me off the job no it didn't, and if I'm going to be judged during the Euros then so be it, I'll have to live with that.

"Most importantly for me is that the whole country is going to get behind England and give us the best chance as we can of getting a good result in the Euros, and not to use this as an excuse for the players to fail."

Hodgson revealed that he plans to hold talks with a number of players including John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, after doubts were raised over them being in the same squad when the Chelsea captain is set to stand trial for racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Anton.

When questioned if the two could play together with Terry's case looming, the 64-year-old replied: "The important thing at the moment is for me to speak to as many players as possible.

"Of course John and Rio, as respected members of the team, are going to be two players that I need to speak to.

"But I couldn't answer your question [about the court case] at this moment in time certainly not before I've had a chance to hopefully sit down with them, but if I can't sit down with them, I'll speak to them on the telephone."

However, he confirmed that Wayne Rooney will definitely be part of his squad despite the Manchester United striker missing the first two games through suspension.

"I'm looking forward very much to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us and looking forward to his contribution, albeit that he can't play the first two games," he said.

Finally, he refused to be drawn on a player to captain the side, adding: "That's another thing that will have to be carefully thought out so if you don't mind I'll skip decisions like that at this press conference. In the days ahead it's going to be one of the things that will occupy my time."

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