Taylor: Hodgson must be given time

Graham Taylor has pleaded with Roy Hodgson's doubters to give the new England boss a chance.

Football News: Roy Hodgson, England

Hodgson was only confirmed in the job last Tuesday but already Taylor has been shuddering at the manner in which the 64-year-old has been welcomed into the job.

Taylor knows more than most what damage can be caused by negative headlines, having famously been depicted as a turnip following a Euro 92 defeat to Sweden, which ended England's interest in the competition.

So, whilst he does see some reasons for optimism about Hodgson's reign, the former Watford and Aston Villa chief hopes the new man is not castigated before he starts.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was considered the favourite to replace Fabio Capello but Taylor does not think that should count against the man who beat him to the top job.

Launching the new Vauxhall youth initiative Football Mash Up in Luton today, Taylor said: "There is a small section of people who have already made their minds up about Roy.

"Harry was their lad - and he hasn't got the job.

"I just hope they are fair and deal with Roy in a fair way because it can have a significant effect.

"When we lost to Sweden, it was my second defeat in 24 games, but it meant we weren't going into the later stages.

"That is fair enough. But the way it was handled opened me up to being held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

"In addition, my authority with the players was diminished because it all became a big laugh.

"From that moment on, it was harder for me as a person to maintain the authority I had prior to it."

It would be a matter of huge regret for Taylor if the same thing happened to Hodgson.

Rather than get caught by surprise like most observers, he always felt Hodgson was a live contender, due to the combination of his massive experience and the knowledge that his contract at West Brom was due to expire at the end of the season.

In contrast, it has been suggested Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was getting prepared to demand £8million to release Redknapp from his deal with Spurs, a not insignificant sum at a time when the Football Association are still making up a shortfall in the TV deal with collapsed satellite broadcaster Setanta.

"Eight million pounds is a lot of money compared to the possibility of getting someone else who you feel is better suited," said Taylor.

Taylor even sees considerable advantages in the manner and timing of Hodgson's appointment.

"The players and, to a degree, Roy as well, already have a reason if things don't go well," he said.

"When you have that, it is surprising how well you do.

"There is very little time for the new manager and players to gel and know how each other work. We all know that.

"But if they don't do very well it won't be their fault. It will be the FA's fault, because the FA get blamed for almost everything.

"How can we expect anything? Look at the group we are in. France in the first game, then Sweden, then one of the co-hosts, Ukraine. That is not an easy group."



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