sport

Hodgson pleased with backing

Roy Hodgson has admitted he is pleased to have received assurances about his long-term future as England manager from FA chairman Greg Dyke.

Hodgson's side became the first England squad since 1958 to exit the World Cup during the opening stages, following 2-1 defeats to Italy and Uruguay in their first two matches.

But Dyke has publicly stated that Hodgson still enjoys his full support and will guide England in their quest to qualify for the 2016 European Championship in France.

"I am very pleased of course that Greg and the board have come out and backed me to continue,\" Hodgson said.

"We are midway through a term, there's lot of work to be done, but I also think we are on a good path.

\"I can see a lot of possibilities for this team and these players to improve and become better and I am very pleased I am going to be the man leading them.

"It means a lot because the job means a lot to me. It's a fantastic job, it's a privilege to have it.

"I am very pleased to have had that backing. Scapegoats are always necessary in times of failure, one understands that. But one would like to think the work that you do is judged over a long period of time.

"These games were very important, we were desperate to do well in them, we didn't, we lost and we bear the responsibility. No one's trying to shy away from that, no one's trying to put the blame on anybody else."

The 66-year-old insisted he could not fault his squad for a lack of commitment, insisting his players gave it their level-best in Brazil.

\"I think our preparation had gone extremely well,\" Hodgson added. \"I think the players have been first-class. I think their attitude and desire is something which I can't fault, but unfortunately we lost two games

\"We're very, very disappointed about that. We're disappointed of course for ourselves because we wanted to do better and we are disappointed for the fans because they've come out here.

\"But we did try our very best. We left nothing on the field, but unfortunately on two occasions we came out on the wrong end of a score and that is sometimes what happens on sporting occasions.\"

Hodgson also confirmed he would make sweeping changes to his side for their final World Cup match against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

The 66-year-old said: \"I'll be picking it (the team) with a view to making certain that all the players, if possible, that have been with us here get some minutes on the field of play.

"I shall be changing the team."