Roy Hodgson has tipped Gary Neville to replace him as England manager.
Neville is Hodgson’s assistant for the Three Lions and has just taken his first venture into management with Spanish giants Valencia on a contract until the end of this season.
Hodgson is convinced that the former Manchester United full-back has “all the attributes to succeed” as a number one and can envisage him following him in the England hotseat.
Asked if Neville could coach his country, the Daily Star quote Hodgson as telling Sky Sports News HQ: “Course he could. No question of that. He’s got those qualities and these five months will encourage him in his career. He’s got lots of strings to his bow, he’s got lots of possibilities.
“I’ve always know that he wants to be on that field of play, he wants to be out there coaching, and now he’ll have a real chance to decide in which direction he really wants to go in the future because he’s really taken the plunge now.
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“This period of time he’ll spend out there will be tremendous for him. It’s a baptism of fire but knowing Gary so well a baptism of fire will be what he wanted. He likes that challenge, I’ve spoken at length to him and he’s already enjoying it enormously there.
“He knows that it will be difficult, it would have been difficult to takeover a team that was flying when he got there but of course whenever you takeover a team it’s often because the team isn’t flying, it’s quite the opposite, the team’s in difficulty.
“But he’ll succeed, there’s no question of that. He’s got all the qualities necessary and the experience can only do him good as a person and a coach and those experiences can only do us good. Because we’re already benefitting from his experience as a player, especially as a player with England.
“We’re benefiting from him ability to analyse and work with our vied technician, to put together the right type of videos for the players about post-match analysis and pre-match analysis.
“Now we’ll gain from the fact he’s had even more responsibility and he’ll come back a stronger coach than when he went and he was already quite strong when he went. So we can look forward to seeing an even stronger man with us in the summer and I look forward to that.”
Hodgson’s contract with the Football Association expires after next summer’s Euro 2016 championships, so Neville could be promoted into the big-pressure role as soon as next year.
Neville, 40, has won one of his first four games as Valencia manager – against third-tier opposition Barakaldo in the Copa del Rey. He has drawn two and lost the other.
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