England job my greatest challenge: Coach Allardyce

London, July 25 (IANS) England’s football team head coach Sam Allardyce on Monday said his new job will be the “greatest challenge” of his career.

In his first news conference since taking charge of the national side, Allardyce said “man management” was his “biggest asset”.

Allardyce, who helped save Sunderland from English Premier League (EPL) relegation last season, succeeds Roy Hodgson after a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.

Sammy Lee, Allardyce’s assistant at Bolton Wanderers, joined the England staff.

“This will be the greatest challenge for me in my long career and hopefully I will be as successful as I have in the rest of my career,” Allardyce told the English Football Association’s website.

Allardyce also added he would not make a decision on Wayne Rooney’s captaincy until he has met the players and staff.

“I have managed some world class players. Fernando Hierro, Youri Djorkaeff, Jay Jay Okocha, Gary Speed, Nicolas Anelka and Michael Owen. I have managed some talented players; the good thing about that is they make your life easier, they know what you want,” the 61-year-old said.

“Working with the England elite players will be very exciting for me because they will take on board ideas very quickly.”

Allardyce is already excited at getting out on the training pitch in late August, when he’ll call up his first England squad for the opening World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on September 4.

“In terms of winning no trophies or cups, unfortunately, as an English manager I never got to go right to the top of the Premier League. I saved clubs and never got relegated, and they are not the same as winning the FA Cup or League Cup, but they are big achievements,” the former Sunderland coach added.

Allardyce pointed out that he will focus on giving players the opportunity to win matches, home or away, and make them aware of the opposition and also on create team spirit.

“I think choosing styles of systems depends on the players available and who we are playing. My coaching technique is to try to give players the opportunity to win football matches, home or away, and make them aware of the opposition,” he said.

“I think the bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create that team spirit and have some fun. I have enjoyed my life in the game, this job is the pinnacle and I want to enjoy this the most,” Allardyce added.

“My style of play has always been a tag for me that I can’t shake off but I played with Jermain Defoe down the middle on his own last year so it cannot be really associated with me after that. Working on people’s strengths is the main factor. People said Defoe cannot play up front on his own but that is what he did all last season and scored 18 goals.”

–IANS

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