• World Cup

'Numb' Hodgson refuses to resign

ESPN staff
June 20, 2014
Hodgson - We are making progress

Roy Hodgson refuses to resign as England manager despite guiding to the country to the brink of their first group stage exit from a World Cup in 56 years.

England were beaten 2-1 by a Luiz Suarez-inspired Uruguay on Thursday which, combined with an opening Group D defeat to Italy, will likely see them fail to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 1958.

"I don't have any intention to resign," Hodgson said. "I've been really happy with the way the players have responded to the work we've tried to do.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don't feel I need to resign. On the other hand, if the FA think I'm not the right man to do the job, that will be their decision not mine."

The FA have not made any statement about Hodgson's future since the Uruguay defeat and are unlikely to do so before England's World Cup campaign is officially over. However, general secretary Alex Horne has previously made it clear the manager has the governing body's backing for another two years and while Greg Dyke, the chairman, has been more circumspect publicly, he is a fan.

England are not yet out of the tournament but have to rely on other results going their way and even Hodgson has more or less conceded defeat. "Our chances of going through are unbelievably slim," he said. "We depend on Italy winning their next two matches and us beating Costa Rica by the requisite number of goals. To continue, we needed a result against Uruguay. We needed a victory and we didn't get it."

Italy have to win their remaining matches - against Costa Rica on Friday and Uruguay on Tuesday - for England to have a chance of qualifying, and even then Hodgson's team also have to beat Costa Rica in their final group game to stand a chance.

"I'm really bitterly disappointed. We came with such high hopes and have not been able to deliver. It is a major sadness for me," Hodgson said.

"I'm numb really - numb with disappointment and sadness that so many hopes and dreams and so much work has been blown away.

"The hope is small. Had we drawn the game I would even have been tempted to say to you the chances were good. Now we need Italy to win both their games and that is not guaranteed."

Hodgson's dignified stance in the face of such a painful defeat is likely to win him some support although if he made one wrong move it may have been in continuing to refuse to concede Suarez is a world-class player after his two fine finishes.

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