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No pressure on Hodgson - Hurst

ESPN staff
April 30, 2012

Sir Geoff Hurst says he is not concerned the new England manager will have little time in the role before Euro 2012, with the World Cup legend insisting "it might take the pressure off" and help give the national side a better chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Current West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is expected to be unveiled as the new Three Lions manager after holding talks with FA chairman David Bernstein at Wembley on Monday.

And, while Hurst felt Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who appears to have been overlooked for the position, was the ideal candidate, he believes whoever lands the job will be given a far easier ride going to the Euros than if they had been in place "quite a while before".

"Whether we had a manager or not, I still think we are capable of getting at least to the semi-finals," said Hurst. "I don't see any reason why we can't get to that level and if we can, you never know what could happen.

"Roy has not been involved in the preparations to date and that's not ideal. When you have a manager in place quite a while before, the preparation is going to be very natural, as it was with us in 1966.

"But, in some respects, I see that as a positive. It might take the pressure off, certainly from the media and the fans, to be successful this year. That could be a good thing because expectation is huge on the manager and the players."

England fans' spokesman Mark Perryman does not share Hurst's optimism for the Euros but he is not against Hodgson's appointment. Redknapp was favourite to be handed the reins but Perryman feels the hype surrounding the Spurs boss, and the comparisons with the late Brian Clough, have been over the top.

"It is a ridiculous comparison," said Perryman. "Harry Redknapp has been a manager for 30 years and won one FA Cup. Brian Clough won two European Cups and lots of other trophies besides.

"To link the two doesn't stand up at all. Clough was the greatest manager never to manage England. Harry is the populist choice, but so was Kevin Keegan and what an unmitigated disaster that turned out to be.

"Roy Hodgson will be a steady hand on the tiller. He took Fulham to the Europa League final, which was a magnificent achievement, and on the basis that the best three managers around just now, Marcelo Bielsa, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, wouldn't want the job, Hodgson is a good choice."

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