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 10 years since I worked in the Premier League but I haven’t been working at a low level where there is no pressure. Quite the opposite,” he added in a press conference broadcast by Sky Sports News.
“I’m in a similar situation to the foreign coaches who come in.”
Hodgson always remained confident he would get another chance in his homeland.
“When I was at FC Copenhagen (from 2000-01) I knew I was being strongly linked with England, so there was no reason to believe a job in the Premier League would not be a possibility.”
Hodgson was at Fulham’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham at the weekend, and despite the imminent arrival of the transfer window, he claims his first priority is to get to grips with the current squad rather than hunting for replacements.
“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.
“But at the moment my focus is on Chelsea.”
He would also not be drawn on the size of the transfer kitty likely to be made available to him.
“I’ve no idea,” Hodgson admitted. “My discussion with the board was all about how we’re going to improve the current situation and we didn’t have any detailed discussions about transfers.”
Of his new job, Hodgson added: “It is a major challenge. But any Premier League job is a major challenge.
“At the moment out confidence is not at a high level because a string of results have not gone the club’s way. If we can turn that around we might see a completely different team.
“I would like to avoid going out now and making wholesale changes and then finding out the ones we have brought in are no better.”