Roy Hodgson has told new West Brom manager Alan Pardew that his first game in charge against Crystal Palace on Saturday is not all about him.
Former Eagles boss Pardew was appointed at the Hawthorns on Wednesday to replace Tony Pulis, who was sacked with West Brom in a poor run of form.
The 56-year-old took Palace to the FA Cup final in 2016 but saw his side collect just 26 Premier League points throughout the calendar year before he was given the boot in December.
Speaking after his appointment as Baggies boss, Pardew said he felt he “deserved more time” to get things right at Palace.
All eyes will be on the former Reading, West Ham and Newcastle manager as he looks to start the next phase of his managerial career with victory over rock-bottom Palace.
But Hodgson – a former West Brom manager himself – insists Saturday’s meeting is about more than Pardew.
“I had 18 months there and was quite popular there,” Hodgson said.
“It is not just about Pardew playing his former club, I am playing against the team I managed before being England manager and I would have stayed there as well.
“I have very fond memories so I am looking forward to going back there myself.”
Hodgson revealed he had not been in touch with Pardew since his appointment as he looks to pick up Palace’s first win on the road this season having gone three unbeaten in the league.
In light of Pardew returning to management at West Brom and Sam Allardyce landing the Everton job, Hodgson also said a manager’s nationality should not come into the equation when a club is seeking a new boss.
“I am English myself so it would be strange if I was one of the people who was advocating against English managers,” he added.
“I’m also a man who has worked a lot of time abroad and I have to be careful of hypocrisy, I have worked in several countries where I was the foreigner.
“I think it is important when the club select the person they think is the right manager. If they can be English then of course I would be very happy to see that.
“What is the right way forward? I don’t know. If I owed a football club and had total control my choice of manager or coach would depend entirely and utterly on the philosophy I believe I wanted that cub to have.
“It would be based on an enormous amount of research that the coach had the qualities I was looking for.”