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The current Three Lions manager is confident his assistant is capable of leading his country, but warned against a quick route into management for the pundit and coach

Roy Hodgson feels Gary Neville has the ability to one day take his job as England boss, but does not think he should rush into management.

England's early exit from the World Cup has sparked debate over the state of the national team, with Hodgson criticised - although the Football Association has backed the 66-year-old to continue.

Michael Owen has tipped the England assistant to succeed Hodgson and the current manager has every confidence Neville could lead his country in the future.

"Of course he can be [a future England manager]," Hodgson told reporters.

"But it would be wrong to start putting him under pressure to suggest 'you need to get down to some work in a club side because the England manager's job is there waiting for you.'

"Who knows? When the job comes up again, who knows what candidates there will be.

"Having a long career in football gets harder and harder.

"The number of jobs available vis-a-vis the amount of time people spend in those jobs gets less and less, so I certainly wouldn't advise him necessarily to jump at the first opportunity to do coaching or management.

"The longer he can combine the two roles [coaching and punditry] the better.

"But I don't have any doubt in my mind that he will become a top-class football coach and top-class manager."

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