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'If he were foreign, he'd be sacked'

Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, has claimed Roy Hodgson would have been sacked for his World Cup failure if he had been a foreigner.

The Football Association has confirmed Hodgson will remain in charge despite the national team's premature exit in Brazil just two games into the group stage.

However, Eriksson, who departed in 2006 after having reached the quarter-finals in three major tournaments, only to progress no further, insists he would not have been so fortunate.

"I know for sure if that had been me, I would have been sacked at once," claimed the 66-year-old Swede in an English newspaper. "If he were foreign, he would be sacked. I'm quite sure about that."

However, Eriksson, who admitted he would like a second chance to manage England, said the FA is right to stick with Hodgson.

"If they don't want me back, keep Hodgson. He's good," said Eriksson, currently in charge of Chinese club Guangzhou R&F. "I would come back at once, of course. But that will not happen."

Hodgson himself is confident that he is the right man to manage England, despite overseeing the team's first World Cup group stage exit since 1958.

Having suffered defeats to Italy and Uruguay, the last remaining slither of hope was extinguished on Friday as Costa Rica defeated the Azzurri. The result meant that England exited at the pool stage for the first time in 56 years and has inevitably led to an inquest into their shortcomings, with many critics pointing the finger at Hodgson.

However, the FA attempted to nip that in the bud by giving him their unequivocal backing before the exit was rubber-stamped and numerous players have echoed that support.

Hodgson himself, meanwhile, is confident he is the right man for the job. Asked if in such a brutal trade he felt fortunate to get such backing from his employers, he told a packed press conference: "It's a good question and I don't know how to answer it, really.

"Of course I am very pleased to have had that backing. Scapegoats are always necessary in times of failure and one understands that after being in football for a long time.

"But one would like to think that the work that you do is judged over a long period of time and it's not quite so cynical that you work for two years, you work every day, you do a lot of things in terms of preparation and it all boils down to the referee deciding whether you should or shouldn't have a penalty.

"You'd like to think that the people who are judging you are judging you on your ability, what you bring to the job and what qualities you have and what you can do for them going forwards."

Those in power may not be in such a forgiving mood should England lose their final Group D match against Costa Rica tomorrow.

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