Alan Shearer has spoken out in support of the new England manager Roy Hodgson. The former England centre-forward and captain hopes the country can rally around Hodgson before the Euro 2012 finals.
"I can't see how anyone can say Roy's not the man," Shearer said. "Give the guy a chance. He is English, which everyone wanted, including me. It didn't sit right with me having a foreign manager so I'm pleased it's an English manager this time. We have to get behind him."
With the English press already niggling at Hodgson, Shearer was surprised at the media response and the dismay that Harry Redknapp was not appointed, although fan forums have been more supportive of Hodgson. "I was surprised by the negativity," Shearer said. "I don't see why anyone can be negative about him, after where he has been and what he's done and his experience."
Shearer did think that the low levels of expectation ahead of the Euro finals could work to England’s advantage. "For the first time I can remember there isn't a huge expectation on England," he said. "The preparation hasn't been great, without a manager and captain, no Wayne Rooney for two games or Darren Bent, so put it all together and not as much is expected. It could work for us."
Pressed on whether he might consider a role alongside Hodgson on the England bench, Shearer was coy, but did not rule it out. "Roy is experienced enough to know who he wants to work with and that's all I can say. I'm not prepared to say what you guys want me to say."