Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success


Sam Allardyce believes making international football fun again for England's under-performing players could be key to unlocking their full potential.

The Three Lions manager took to his new job for the first time on Monday, speaking to the assembled media at England's St George's Park base.

Tasked with rebuilding fragile confidence after a defeat to Iceland knocked England out of Euro 2016 in the last 16 and resulted in Roy Hodgson's resignation, Allardyce also pinpointed his thorough approach to preparation as a key factor in his attempts to make the team competitive again.

Such preparation appeared abandoned at the Euros as England made costly errors in defence, with a muddled attack underlined by Harry Kane's continuously woeful contributions at set-pieces - an area Allardyce enjoys a great reputation in.

The former Sunderland boss spoke in length at the importance of mentally preparing players, who have often appeared to creak under the strain of national expectation at tournaments.

He said: "The bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create a good team spirit and to have some fun.

"Football is to be enjoyed and I've enjoyed my life in football for many years, it's the pinnacle of my career and I want to enjoy it the most.

"Man management is my biggest asset, to help the players enjoy themselves and be better than they already are. It's worked everywhere else I've been.

"To sit here is a huge thrill for me. I think I fit the chair, I hope I do. I think I've got the experience to pass on and not only challenge the England team and challenge myself."

Allardyce gave short shrift to suggestions that England were at their lowest ebb after a group-stage elimination at the 2014 World Cup and their embarrassing exit from France.

"I wouldn't suggest it's rock bottom," he said. "People see me to be able to turn a club around very quickly, and I suppose that comes around by taking West Ham up, saving Blackburn Rovers and saving Sunderland.

"I consider myself much more than that but that's the label I've got, I can turn things around quickly and I can get amongst staff and create a successful journey that starts by us all pulling together."

He added: "There's no lack of passion I don't see a lack of passion anywhere from the players who play for England. The loss of form wasn't due to a lack of passion or determination or desire so I have to identify what went wrong.

"I don't want to spend too much time on the past I want to think about future and future of improving these elite players we have.

"It's about trying to create an environment that's got a feel-good factor that will allow the lads to go over that white line and deal with whatever's thrown at them."

The ever-confident Allardyce also bullishly outlined his ability to handle the added scrutiny that will fall on his shoulders as England manager.

Asked if the role was a "poisoned-chalice", he smiled: "Not for me. I'm hardened over many years. You toughen yourself for whatever job. You either take the good with the bad or don't bother.

"I'm here because I want the challenge, I'm here because I think I can make the team better and I think I'm tough enough to take it so bring it on!"