ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has been given a massive endorsement – by a player desperate to undermine his Euro 2012 campaign.
West Brom Player of the Year Jonas Olsson will go head-to-head with his old coach when Sweden play England in Kiev on Friday week, in the second of the countries’ three Group D matches.
Whoever wins, and Olsson was a second-half substitute when his country lost to the English for the first time since 1968 last November, will be well placed to make it to the quarter-finals.
However, the 29-year-old central defender will be doing all he can to make sure it’s his existing team-mates and not his former manager who is celebrating at the end of the game.
But that does not mean he doesn’t hold Hodgson in the highest esteem as the pair’s relationship coincided with him playing some of the best football of his career.
“He’s a top man,” Olsson said. “I really enjoyed working with him on a professional level, and also a personal level, so I wish him all the best.
“What did he bring to Albion? Two things. One is, how well he organises teams, we’ve been a lot more solid under him.
“Second, he’s brilliant when it comes to inspiring players. You can really see his desire to do well and that impacts on the players.
“It’s unusual for an English manager to be that involved in everything at the club, and I really like that.”