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Switzerland had not reached a major tournament since 1966, but Hodgson took them to the 1994 World Cup and also the 1996 European Championship, where they went out in the first round but did manage a creditable 1-1 draw with host England.

While recognizing the need to instill confidence in his England players ahead of Euro 2012, Hodgson accepted 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 FA director of football development Trevor Brooking, who helped to hire Hodgson, downplayed expectations.

“Tournament football has always been a big challenge,” said Brooking, a former England midfielder. “The lack of success we’ve had, the expectancy level … the likes of Germany, Holland and Spain will be ahead of us in terms of expectancy.

“But the coach we’ve appointed can improve the group, which feels they haven’t done themselves justice in recent tournaments.”

Being appointed England manager might have seemed unthinkable at the start of 2011 for Hodgson when he was fired after just six stormy months in charge of Liverpool that blemished his rebuilt reputation at West Brom.

But Hodgson’s lowest points at Anfield, where he was jeered by fans, should have prepared him for the demands and intensity faced in the England job.

“Liverpool is a chapter in the past I am very much looking forward … a lot has happened since that time,” Hodgson said.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, a contender to skipper the national team, was one of the first England players to congratulate Hodgson on Tuesday.

“I’ve worked with Roy. He’s a good man and a good manager,” the midfielder said. “It’s important he’s given a chance and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

England has an exhibition against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and a home match against Belgium a week later before a 23-man squad heads to the Euro 2012 base in Krakow, Poland.

England’s group stage opener is against France on June 11 in Donetsk, Ukraine, followed by matches against Sweden and Ukraine.


Rob Harris can be reached at

(This version CORRECTS Corrects to drought in 2nd paragraph. New approach.)