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Hodgson appointed England manager

updated 4:42 AM EDT, Thu May 3, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roy Hodgson appointed England manager on four-year contract
  • The 64-year old says he is "a very happy man to be offered the chance"
  • Hodgson will take charge of West Brom's last two games of the season
  • The English FA maintains it only approached Hodgson and did not speak to Harry Redknapp

(CNN) -- Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager on a four-year contract on Tuesday, ending months of speculation over who would lead the national team at Euro 2012.

The English Football Association has been looking for a new manager since Italian Fabio Capello resigned in early February.

The 64-year-old Hodgson emerged as the FA's surprise top target on Sunday and his appointment was confirmed following talks on Monday at Wembley.

Hodgson has been in charge of West Bromwich Albion since February 2011 and will oversee the club's final two matches of the Premier League season before beginning preparations to lead England at the European Championships.

His first match as England manager is the June 2 friendly against Belgium at Wembley.

"It is a very proud day for me, I'm a very happy man to be offered the chance to manage my country," Hodgson said. "I'm looking forward to the task ahead. Everyone knows it is not an easy one but I'm hoping that everyone, fans and supporters will get behind the team."

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Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had been widely tipped as the favorite to replace Capello, and England's star striker Wayne Rooney tweeted on the day of Capello's resignation that the Spurs boss would be his first choice.

But the FA insisted Hodgson was the only candidate it spoke to. His broader resume and experience of international football seems to have tipped the balance in his favor.

"Over a period of time, Roy emerged as a stand-out candidate," FA chairman David Bernstein said. "The board was unanimous in choosing Roy. It's the first time the FA has appointed an English manager with international experience."

As well as spells at Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Fulham and Liverpool, Hodgson has coached the national sides of Switzerland, Finland and United Arab Emirates.

His time with Switzerland drew worldwide notice as the team qualified for the 1994 World Cup from a group including Italy and Portugal, and rose to third in the FIFA world rankings.

Hodgson's immediate task will be to negotiate Euro 2012.

England qualified for the tournament comfortably enough, but Capello quit when the FA removed John Terry as captain in light of a criminal charge of racist abuse against Anton Ferdinand hanging over him.

Euro 2012 interactive mapEuro 2012 interactive map

Terry, who will not stand trial until after the tournament, could be in the squad with Rio Ferdinand, Anton's brother.

"The important thing is to speak to as many players as possible, "Hodgson said. "John and Rio are two I need to speak to."

Hodgson must also cope without Rooney for the first two games of the tournament as the Manchester United striker sits out a ban for kicking out at an opponent.

Hodgson said there was no question of him leaving Rooney out of the squad.

"I'm looking forward to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us and making a contribution even though he cannot play the first two games," he said.

The England manager's job is the pinnacle of success for every English manager and it certainly brings with it a lot of scrutiny
Roy Hodgson

Hodgson wouldn't be drawn on who he would appoint as captain in place of Terry. Steven Gerrard, who Hodgson worked with during an ill-fated 31-game spell at Liverpool, is one of the candidates.

The pressure on Hodgson, which was intense at Liverpool, will only increase as he takes on one what is notoriously one of the most difficult jobs in football. The 64-year-old says he is ready.

"I'm prepared. The fact is I took it at Liverpool and I'll take it here," he said. "Inter, I would submit, wasn't exactly too easy when it comes to scrutiny and size of club.

"The England manager's job is the pinnacle of success for every English manager and it certainly brings with it a lot of scrutiny and criticism and I have to be prepared for that."

England begin Euro 2012 against France on June 11. They will also play Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine.

Russia confirmed Tuesday that their Dutch coach Dick Advocaat had turned down an offer to extend his contract beyond the end of the tournament.

Advocaat told Russian newspaper Sport-Express that he is set to take over at Dutch club side PSV Eindhoven next season.

The Russian football federation said it was "confident it will not have a negative influence on Russia's performance at the European Championship."

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