Wembley, London: Roy Hodgson landed the top job in English football on Tuesday after a nomadic 36-year coaching career, with barely six weeks to prepare the team for the European Championships and win over some skeptical fans.
Hodgson will leave his job at West Bromwich Albion after the season finale on May 13 to start a four-year England contract that also takes him through to the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
"It is the most important job in English football," the 64-year-old Hodgson said.
Hodgson will leave West Brom after the season finale on May 13 to start a four-year England contract that also takes him through to the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
The three-month search to replace Fabio Capello ended with the FA overlooking Tottenham's Harry Redknapp, the clear favourite among fans and key players, to hire a multi-lingual manager who has won eight league titles in two countries with three clubs and coached the national teams of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
"It's always a big job to win people over. The only way you can win people over is by doing the job I am confident I can do," Hodgson said. "It's always very important the whole country buys into what we do. I'm expecting a lot of support from everybody."
The Londoner said it would be "difficult" for the team to be successful at the Euros in Poland and Ukraine because he is coming in at such at late stage and has to name a squad in two weeks.
But Hodgson is still optimistic about England's chances despite the team slumping out of the 2010 World Cup in the last-16 and yet to win anything since the 1966 World Cup.
"England always have to go in tournaments to win them because we are a major football nation," Hodgson said. "I certainly think the players would be very disappointed if we expected anything less of them than to win the tournament."
The vacancy was created by Capello quitting suddenly in February in a dispute with the FA after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy.
FA chairman David Bernstein said the organization decided about a month ago to hire Hodgson due to his "experience, track record and ability at building winning teams."
Hodgson has had spells in club football in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan.
"His knowledge of international football is unquestionable," Bernstein said.
England have a friendly against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and a home fixture against Belgium a week later before a 23-man squad heads to the Euro 2012 base in Krakow, Poland.
England's group-stages opener is against France on June 11 in Donetsk, Ukraine, followed by matches against Sweden and Ukraine.
Hodgson was able to rebuild his reputation at West Brom after a stormy six-month spell at Liverpool blemished his widely lauded record. Hodgson's lowest points at Liverpool, where he was jeered by fans, should have prepared him for the demands and intensity faced in the pressure-packed England job, where expectations exceed reality.
"Liverpool is a chapter in the past, I am very much looking forward ... a lot has happened since that time," Hodgson said. "We all know the England manager's job is the pinnacle of success for any English manager and it certainly brings with it a lot of scrutiny and criticism and I have to be prepared for that."
Hodgson was somewhat of a surprise choice after Redknapp was overlooked for the job.
"I have great respect for Harry. He sent me a voice-mail message which obviously I will reply to," Hodgson said. "I hope it won't affect our friendship."
Redknapp could not match Hodgson's international experience as he becomes the first England coach to be appointed after previously leading another national team.
Hodgson has coached Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland, making him one of the best travelled coaches England has produced.
After impressing domestically in Switzerland, he earned the national team job there while still barely known in his homeland.
The Swiss had not reached a major tournament since 1966, but Hodgson took them to the 1994 World Cup and also the 1996 European Championships, where they went out in the first round but did manage a creditable 1-1 draw with hosts England.
Switzerland's World Cup run and their success in Euro 96 qualifying landed Hodgson a job in 1995 at Inter Milan, where he reached the UEFA Cup final in 1997, before departing for Blackburn.
He coached Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, the UAE and Viking FK before taking unheralded Finland to the brink of qualification for the 2008 European Championships.
Hodgson finally made his mark in his homeland with Fulham, the small west London club. He took over during the 2007-08 season and guided the club to their best ever finish of seventh place the following year.
He was voted manager of the year in 2010 by his fellow professionals for taking Fulham to the Europa League final, earning him a top job in England for the first time at Liverpool. But Hodgson endured a miserable six months at Anfield before being fired amid fan discontent.
West Brom handed him a swift chance to move on from the Liverpool debacle and he repaid the club's faith by keeping the club in the Premier League. West Brom are 10th in the standings with two matches to go this season.
But now he will be leaving the Hawthorns after being handed the top job in a coaching career that began in Sweden.
Aside from a brief stint with Bristol City, he stayed 14 years in Sweden until 1990. After winning the Swedish championship with Halmstad and Malmo, Hodgson moved to Switzerland's Neuchatel Xamax and then the national team, setting him on the road to Wembley.