Hodgson calls for fans' support

Hodgson was, as expected, confirmed as Fabio Capello's successor on a four-year contract but there has already been much speculation as to why bookies' favourite Harry Redknapp was not approached. The Tottenham boss was widely perceived to be the popular choice for the position, but the Football Association confirmed Hodgson was their first and only choice.

"It is a very proud day for me, I'm a very happy man to be offered the chance to manage my country," he said. "I'm looking forward to the task ahead. Everyone knows it is not an easy one but I'm hoping that everyone, fans and supporters will get behind the team."

He added: "It's the team that counts, they go out and win football matches. What I'll do is try to make sure the team is well prepared for the challenge ahead. I'm really looking forward to it."

Hodgson acknowledged he did not have much time to settle into the job before Euro 2012, but said: "It's going to be difficult of course but hopefully I've got time. Obviously I've been working here [in England] for the last five years so the players are pretty well known to me even though I haven't worked with them all.

"I've done as much research and spoken to as many people as I can."

Redknapp was brought up time and again at Hodgson's press conference and the new manager said the Spurs boss had sent him a voicemail following his appointment.

Hodgson added: "We've unwittingly become rivals but I hope it won't affect our friendship and I think he's dealt with the situation extremely well in all his interviews."

FA chairman David Bernstein said Hodgson was the "unanimous choice" of the FA board and that the governing body decided to appoint the West Brom boss a month ago.

He refused to discuss why Redknapp was not approached, saying only: "It was not a two-man race. Other candidates were looked at very seriously, whose names I won't give out."

Hodgson preferred not to answer questions about picking John Terry and Rio Ferdinand in his squad, or the possibility of selecting Steven Gerrard as captain, but was forthcoming about the prospect of Wayne Rooney going to Ukraine and Poland.

Rooney is suspended for England's opening two games, but Hodgson appeared to put to bed any debate about whether the Manchester United striker would be part of the final squad or not.

"I'm looking forward to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us and making a contribution even though he cannot play the first two games," he said.

Asked about England's prospects at the Euros, Hodgson added: "England always have to go in tournaments to win them because we are a major football nation. I certainly think the players would be very disappointed if we expected anything less of them than to win the tournament."

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