Hodgson gets Euros plan while sealing England deal
LONDON (AP) -Roy Hodgson is poised to take charge as England manager after being handed the national team's plans for the European Championship during negotiations with Football Association executives on Monday.
The FA is yet to confirm Hodgson as Fabio Capello's replacement but he was spotted leaving Wembley Stadium after four hours of talks clutching a copy of England's draft Euro 2012 itinerary.
The FA only described the talks as "positive,'' a day after being given permission by West Bromwich Albion to approach Hodgson to fill the void created by Capello's sudden resignation in February.
While the plan had always been to wait until the closing stages of the Premier League season to appoint Capello's successor, Hodgson only has around two weeks to name a Euro 2012 squad under a timeframe previously set out by the FA.
Hodgson, whose mid-table West Brom side has two matches left in the league season, would take charge of England for the first time in a friendly against Norway in Oslo on May 26 if he signs up for the job. His first home match would be against Belgium a week later before taking a 23-man squad to the Euro 2012 base in Krakow, Poland.
England's group stage opener is against France on June 11 in Donetsk, Ukraine followed by matches against Sweden and co-host Ukraine.
"Roy has not been involved in the preparations to date and that's not ideal,'' said Geoff Hurst, who won the World Cup with England in 1966. "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 ... 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.''
The surprise in English football is that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp won't be leading the national team's quest for a first major trophy since '66, having been the favorite to take the job with fans, bookmakers and key players since Capello's exit.
But Redknapp insisted Monday that he had no problem with the FA's decision to turn to Hodgson.
"I don't hold grudges, I don't feel like that,'' Redknapp said. "There's no problem. If Roy takes the job I wish him all the best. He's a great guy. I'm sure he'll be a big success. I still think England's got some great players, I really do.''
Taking charge of England would be the pinnacle of a 36-year managerial career for the well-traveled Hodgson, who has previously coached Finland, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland at international level.
The 64-year-old Londoner has had spells in club football in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan.
Hodgson guided unheralded Fulham to the 2010 Europa League final - beating Juventus along the way - and was voted manager of the year by his fellow coaches for leading the west London club to a record-high position of seventh in the Premier League.
He was subsequently lured to Liverpool, where he endured an unsuccessful six-month stint before being fired in January 2011.
West Brom handed Hodgson a swift chance to rebuild his reputation a month later and he repaid the club's faith by keeping the club in the Premier League. West Brom is 10th in the standings with two matches to go this season.
Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarris