Roy Hodgson has called on England to take inspiration from Leicester City’s Premier League heroics and claim Euro 2016 glory.
Hodgson named a provisional 26-man squad for the European Championship on Monday, which included Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater from the ranks of the newly-crowned Premier League champions.
England are not viewed among the tournament favourites having failed to reach the semi-finals of a major competition since Euro 96 – a feat the Football Association (FA) has publically asked Hodgson to emulate.
But the 68-year-old believes the youth and talent in his squad can take heart from surprise triumphs at the event from Denmark and Greece in 1992 and 2004, along with an even more stunning success story closer to home.
Hodgson said: “It’s happened in the past, nobody expected Denmark to win it in ’92; nobody expected Greece to win the Euros as well; no-one expected Leicester to win the league.
“Everyone’s got to have that hope, everyone’s got to have that dream, everyone’s got to have that thought in their mind of ‘who knows?’
“If we really play well, do our best and produce the type of football we can produce, which we’ve shown in quite a few games recently, who knows where that will lead us.”
Hodgson is out of contract following Euro 2016 but would be keen to oversee the next stage of the development for young stars such as Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and newly called-up Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford.
“The fact is I’m available, I’m ready to carry on, I’m happy to carry on,” said the former Fulham and Liverpool boss, who reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 shortly after his appointment as Fabio Capello’s successor but endured a disappointing group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup.
“It would depend on what the FA want, what the general public wants, although that’s harder to judge of course. I shall wait to see.
“It’s not just a desire to keep working with this group of players, it’s a really good position to be manager of England. It’s a prestigious position and one that brings a lot of pride and honour.
“Why would anyone, especially at this time when the England squad is on the brink of doing something good, why would anyone want to walk away?
“But I’ve been involved in football a long time and I understand it’s not always what you want, it’s what other people want and it’s also about performances and results.
“The thing we can do, and will do, is work hard during this tournament to give those performances and get those results.”