England manager Roy Hodgson is willing to stay in his post after Euro 2016 if asked but will not be put in a position where he is “begging for the job” with the Football Association.
Hodgson is out of contract after the tournament in France and came in for criticism when a much-changed England team were held to a goalless draw by Slovakia, ceding top spot in Group B to Wales and landing them in the tougher half of the knockout-stage draw.
Victory over surprise package Iceland in Nice on Monday would secure a quarter-final at the Stade de France – against either the host nation or Republic of Ireland.
On Saturday, FA chief executive Martin Glenn joined outgoing chairman Greg Dyke in offering his backing to Hodgson, whose 40 years in coaching edge him towards a pragmatic view.
“I am prepared to carry on,” Hodgson said. “It is different to wanting it. I’m prepared to carry on if the FA want me to.
“If they don’t want me to then my contract will have run out and that is how that will be. So, I’m not begging for the job.
“I believe in what I’ve done, in particular over the last couple of years. I believe in the team I am working with and believe the team is showing such potential that it will go on and do good things.
“If the FA want me to continue with me looking after them I will be happy to do so.
“I know that I and my coaching staff are capable of carrying on. But the FA will make the decision on what they want to do.”
Defeat to the minnows of Iceland would give the governing body a fairly straightforward decision on that front, while such a humbling is simply not on Hodgson’s agenda.
“To be honest, I am not even contemplating going out to Iceland,” he said.
“I haven’t contemplated losing a game yet, I’ve had to accept two draws that I would have liked to have seen us win. So I am not contemplating anything there.
“As far as I’m concerned I will prepare the team for Iceland, we will do the best we can to win the game and then, after the game, we will either be heavily criticised as we haven’t won it or, with any luck, if we played well and won the game people will maybe say we did well.”
On the prospect of his reign being judged against what unfolds at the Stade de Nice, the veteran tactician offered a prickly response.
“I’ve been working for 40 years, don’t ask me those sort of questions,” he added.
“The game is cruel. There is no correlation sometimes between how well a team has done and the result, that is something that is part and parcel of my life as I deal with criticism and judgements that are made.
“So don’t ask me to make stupid comments like that.”
Hodgson will hope for a similarly uncompromising edge when his players take to the field against a team and a nation with nothing to lose in the south of France, while Glenn insists talk of dissatisfaction behind the scenes with the Slovakia team selection is wide of the mark.
“I actually don’t know where these stories are coming from,” he said. “They don’t come from me, they don’t come from the chairman.
“So I think it is speculation in those idle hours in between games. He has our full support, he has been a great manager and I think we are going to do great things in this tournament.”
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