Hodgson still passionate about role

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Roy Hodgson insists his enthusiasm has not been diminished by England's early World Cup exit Roy Hodgson insists his enthusiasm has not been diminished by England's early World Cup exit

Roy Hodgson insists his desire to manage England has not diminished one bit despite their embarrassingly early World Cup exit.

England have failed to make it through to the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Hodgson has the unwanted record of being the first manager to lead England to defeat in their opening two matches of a World Cup.

The Football Association has decided to stick by the 66-year-old though, and the man himself is determined to right the wrongs of this campaign at Euro 2016.

"My enthusiasm for football is not likely to wane and my enthusiasm for working with these players is not likely to wane either," the England manager said.

England may have shown some encouraging signs in their Group D opener against Italy, but they could not do the same against Uruguay in Sao Paulo, where they were shot down by a half-fit Luis Suarez.

England wasted a number of chances in both games and their defence collapsed when facing pacy attacks.

Hodgson has seen enough in the two games for him to believe that brighter times are around the corner.

The England manager has been particularly pleased with the performances of the young players who were representing their country at a major tournament for the first time.

"I think that bodes well for the future," Hodgson said. "I believe England have a very strong basis for a team, it's very young.

"These players within the space of two years will play in the Premier League and they will get better and stronger as an England team.

"I have never doubted this team will become stronger and better, and we will just for the moment have to suck on this very bitter pill that our hopes and dreams have been floundered here because we were unable to win the games."

Hodgson could give the likes of Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a run out in England's final match of the tournament against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

Those players, along with Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart, will form the basis of Hodgson's XI for Euro 2016.

Hodgson is glad he has a young group of players to choose from going forward.

"I don't think we have a problem (regarding the age of the squad)," he said.

"Wayne Rooney is 28 years of age, going on 29, and I don't regard 29 as being old.

"Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the only 30-plus year olds we have."

Some critics have hit out at Hodgson for putting too much faith in the inexperienced players within the squad.

It has been suggested that Hodgson made a mistake by selecting 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw ahead of 107-cap Ashley Cole.

Hodgson would change nothing about his approach to the tournament though.

"I don't have any regrets," he said. "I don't think the team let anyone down.

"I think everyone worked very hard. I don't think we could have done any better."

Hodgson sounded as though he needed lifting for the Costa Rica game.

"It's very hard to be happy when you lose," the former Liverpool manager said.

"Results colour everyone's judgement. We have played two experienced and strong teams and on both occasions we have come second."

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