Hodgson - Thick skin needed
New England manager Roy Hodgson admits he may need to develop a thicker skin to deal with the pressures that come with the job.
Hodgson's appointment was only confirmed on Tuesday, yet already he has been the victim of tabloid headlines that have earned widespread condemnation and triggered the Football Association into a damning complaint.
Yet the 64-year-old will know the knives will only truly be sharpened once his team start playing.
Few managers escape. Steve McClaren was dubbed "Wally with the Brolly" as England crashed out of Euro 2008 and Graham Taylor was depicted as a turnip after one pitiful performance against Sweden.
Hodgson accepts he is not impervious to criticism, and was pained by the battering he took during his ill-fated stint at Liverpool.
However, as he prepares to start his reign with pre-Euro 2012 friendlies against Norway and Belgium, Hodgson says he is happier that way than being immune to such brickbats but not having the tools to actually manage football players.
"Maybe I should develop one," he said, when asked whether he had a thick skin. "I'm a football coach. That's been the whole of my life.
"Dealing with the mass media has been a part of that. I have not shied away from it and it hasn't bothered me. It's part of my duties.
"I get on with it and do a reasonable job.
"But my forte is coaching footballers and preparing, building and improving football teams.
"That's basically what the England manager's job is. If I'm going to be vulnerable in any area it might be that I don't have a thick enough skin.
"But I'd rather that than not have the wherewithal to do the job."
And Hodgson is certain he has that. So sure in fact that he didn't, for a second, think about turning the FA down when David Bernstein made his call last Sunday.
"There was no element of doubt," he said. "I have been a candidate in the past and it's gone to other people.
"When this opportunity came around, even though I maybe should have considered these things, I haven't.
"I'm just delighted and pleased to have the opportunity to lead my country and help the team get success."
Date: 2012-05-07 09:46:21