Roy Hodgson admits he ‘cannot imagine’ life without coaching

Roy Hodgson admits he ‘cannot imagine’ life without coaching
The oldest manager in Premier League history said it is a ‘privilege’ to still be coaching in the top flight

Roy Hodgson has described it as a privilege to still be managing in the Premier League and admitted he cannot imagine not coaching.

The 73-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, will take charge of his 361st game in the division when Crystal Palace visit Southampton on Tuesday.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl described the experienced manager as a “role model” and also conceded he could not imagine him stopping ahead of their latest meeting at St Mary’s.

“I have never been able to imagine myself not coaching or working either,” Hodgson admitted.

“I have got a lot of respect for Ralph and the job he has done. I have enjoyed speaking to him as well, but you would be hard pushed to find people that I have found myself coming up against, colleagues, that I have got a bad word to say against.

“I have said on several occasions I think the standard today in the Premier League of the managers and coaches is remarkably high and it does not get weaker.

“If anything, it gets stronger and it is a privilege really to be a part of it, mixing with these guys really because you know how good they are at their jobs, how well they organise and prepare their teams.

“I have never set out to be a role model for anybody, I have got to say. I don’t regard myself as a particular role model and the longevity of my career is just one thing.”

Talks over Hodgson’s future have been delayed by the ex-England boss until the season is over, such is his determination to ensure Palace are able to finish strongly with no distractions.

Whatever happens during the summer regarding the managerial situation, there seems little doubt a key figure at Selhurst Park next term will be Eberechi Eze, who scored his fourth goal for the club in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Sheffield United.

It was another eye-catching display by the playmaker, who has impressed this season since a £20million switch from QPR, and Hodgson believes even media hype will not distract the development of the youngster.

He said: “I think he’ll handle it, even if it goes over the top. He’ll handle it, I’m not worried about that at all because he’s such a level-headed person.”

PA

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