Roy Hodgson close to England job after 'positive' talks

Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson looks set to become the next England manager. Photo: PA

Roy Hodgson is a step closer to becoming the England manager after holding "positive" talks with the Football Association at Wembley.

The West Bromwich Albion manager met the four-man Club England board - David Bernstein, Alex Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking and Adrian Bevington - to open negotiations after his club granted permission for him to become Fabio Capello's successor.

It is anticipated Hodgson will complete the Premier League season with West Brom before taking charge for England's two pre-Euro 2012 friendlies, against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and Belgium for his first game at Wembley, seven days later.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp - who was the long time favourite to get the England job - insisted he held no grudges against Hodgson.

I don't hold grudges, I don't feel like that.

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. I think there's some fantastic players in this country, some young players coming through, some great experienced players.

I'm looking forward to the European Championships, looking forward to watching it. Life couldn't be better, the sun's shining, my health is good, I'm a very lucky man.

England's 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst is amongst those who felt Redknapp was the ideal candidate.

However, he does not believe Hodgson's likely appointment will have a negative impact on the overall aims at Euro 2012.

Whether we had a manager or not, I still think we are capable of getting at least to the semi-finals. I don't see any reason why we can't get to that level and if we can, you never know what could happen.

Roy has not been involved in the preparations to date and that's not ideal. 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, I see that as a positive.

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

Our Sports Editor Steve Scott said the FA's surprising decision to approach Hodgson instead of Redknapp could be seen as either safe or brave.

Before his duties with West Brom are over, Hodgson is expected to name his 23-man Euro 2012 squad, possibly on May 10, the date stated by Stuart Pearce last week as the one set aside for the announcement.