Sam Allardyce is ready to embark on his “greatest challenge” with England and does not believe the Three Lions have hit “rock bottom”.
‘Big Sam’ was officially unveiled at his first press conference as England manager, where he did not take long to cause a stir after failing to give Wayne Rooney any immediate assurances over his future as captain.
Allardyce recognises the magnitude of the task he has undertaken, but is hopeful that England’s dismal Euro 2016 exit can be used as motivational tool to ensure that they have a more positive showing at the 2018 World Cup.
“This will be my greatest challenge for me in my long career and hopefully be as successful as I have in the rest of my career,” said Allardyce.
“Because we have such a young squad the growth potential is exceptionally good and I would hope that the bitter experience they felt in the Euros will stand the players in good stead in future.
“They have a huge amount of experience that they will not want to feel this time around.
“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 game, this job is pinnacle and I want to enjoy this the most.”
Ready to make immediate impact
Following on from England’s poor performance in France, Allardyce refused to agree with the notion that he has taken over England at their lowest point and has all the experience to make an instant impact on the squad.
“I wouldn’t suggest we are at rock bottom,” Allardyce added.
“People see me as being able to turn a club around very quickly and that comes around by taking West Ham up, keeping Blackburn and Sunderland up but I consider myself to have much more than that label.
“I can turn things around quickly and get amongst staff and create a successful journey and that starts by us all pulling together.”
Players are passionate
Sam Allardyce was also pushed for comment about the attitude of the England players and how they approach games at major tournaments. He rejected claims that the players are not committed and was more eager to talk about the future rather than the murky past.
“There is no lack of passion, I don’t see that anywhere from the players,” Allardyce refuted.
“The loss of form was not because of a lack of passion or desire. I don’t want to spend too much time on the past, I want to think about the future and improve the young, elite players.
“The experienced ones are important too. We want to create an environment with a feel good factor and the players can deal with anything when we cross the white line.”
Allardyce also introduced Sammy Lee as his new assistant, who worked with him during his time as Bolton Wanderers manager.