Roy Hodgson honest over aims for Watford job he ‘wasn’t expecting’

Roy Hodgson says he would not have taken the Watford job without thinking he can keep them up – and is not concerned about how long his reunion with the Pozzo family may last.

Hodgson was recently appointed as the new Watford manager for the rest of the season. He replaced Claudio Ranieri and has inherited a side in a relegation battle. Indeed, Watford are currently 19th in the Premier League, two points away from safety.

The 74-year-old is now back in the game eight months after leaving Crystal Palace. And just as he did at Selhurst Park, he is aiming to retain Premier League status under his new employers.

At his first press conference, he said: “I think it’s more than possible. I wouldn’t have accepted the challenge had I not believed that we can help the club stay in the Premier League.

“I’m quite confident in that respect that the work we do will have an effect. But of course the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.

“Whether it’s a wise decision or a foolish one, time will tell. Why did I come back? I think it was an exciting offer.

“I wasn’t expecting any calls from Watford or anyone else for that matter. But it was a very easy job to accept.

“It was the siren call from the mermaid as the sailor passes by on his ship. They got the right mermaid going past the right ship.”

Roy Hodgson Crystal Palace manager

In joining Watford, Hodgson will once again be working under the Pozzo family. They hired him for Udinese more than 20 years ago, but fell out before his exit.

The former England boss insists that is long in the past, though.

He responded: “Any reservations? No, not at all. What happened there was as much my fault as any I could attach to them.

“In many ways our relationship then was not bad at all I didn’t think, and since that time, which is over 20 years ago, I have spoken to Gino (Pozzo) on many occasions, and to his father.

“So as far as I’m concerned that is water long under the bridge. It had no effect on me accepting this invitation to work for them again.”

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Hodgson has no concerns

Still, Hodgson could be wary about his long-term job security under a regime that has gone through 16 head coaches since taking control in 2012.

But the chance that his stay at Vicarage Road will be short does not concern Hodgson.

Of the frequent rotation of managers at Watford, Hodgson replied: “I don’t think about it at all.

“When I was offered this job it was under a very clear mandate. ‘Can you come in and work with us to the end of the season, do what we think you do well and help us stay in the league?’

“Therefore it was very easy for me to accept that challenge because I thought I was capable and wanted to do it.

“I hope they get behind me and the team over these next four months because one thing is very clear, no one at Watford – supporters in particular – want the club to go down.”

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