New Fulham manager Roy Hodgson insists he has nothing to prove to English football fans.
The 60-year-old’s only previous job in the top flight ended with him leaving Blackburn by mutual consent with Rovers bottom of the table in November 1998.
But now, charged with keeping the free-falling Cottagers in the Barclays Premier League following the sacking of Lawrie Sanchez, Hodgson is adamant he is under no extra pressure given that past failure.
Asked if he had to prove his credentials in England, he replied: “No. Why should I need to prove myself more here than if I took a job in Germany or Russia or Greece. You always need to prove yourself.”
Hodgson also insisted he was ready for the rigours of life in the Premier League after a nine-year absence – in which time the former Switzerland coach has taken charge of the likes of FC Copenhagen, Udinese, United Arab Emirates and, most recently, Finland.
“I’m fully prepared. It may be ten years since I worked in the Premiership but I haven’t been working at a low level. I know its a tough league and will be a tough job but I feel after a couple of years as an international manager I’m ready to return. The mass media in England tends to concentrate on what’s happening here and I’ve made no attempt to keep my name in the frame.
Those of us who have been in football for a long time, who have achieved certain things, I think it’s wrong to ask if we need to prove ourselves. I’m always rather sad that the 10 championships I won in Sweden get trimmed to four in the newspapers here – I don’t know what happened to the other six. I think I bring experience, a knowledge of European and, international football, a coaching ability developed over the years, man-management skills, I like to think I’ve got a lot to bring.”
“The most important thing is to know the squad fully and not just see them playing from the stand. It’s important to work hard with the players here to try to improve the situation,” he said.
“Like anybody the transfer window is an important time of the year, and if the right type of players come along I know I have the support of the board to move into that market.