New England boss Sam Allardyce thinks he is “tough enough” to deal with the pressure that comes with his new job.
The 61-year-old was named as Roy Hodgson’s successor last week after the FA agreed a compensation deal with Sunderland to make him the new Three Lions boss.
England have failed to reach a major tournament semi-final since 1996 and are still waiting for their first triumph since 1966, but Allardyce insists he can deal with the weight of expectancy on his shoulders.
When asked if the job was a poisoned chalice, he replied: “Not for me. I’m ardent. I’m tough enough. So bring it on lads!”
In his first press conference since being unveiled as the new England boss, ‘Big Sam’, insists he wants to focus on the future rather than looking back on past failures.
“We’re two years way from the World Cup but we must focus on qualifying. Then we can focus on the in-depth issues. We all had great hopes because of the way we qualified for them.
“I hope when we get there (Russia 2018) I can answer that question better then. We can’t change the past. We can only focus on the future.”
Allardyce has often been associated as a manager that plays a direct style of football but wants his players to show flexibility under his tutelage.
“I expect the players to be very adaptable and very flexible. I don’t expect a player at this level to be only able to play only one position and one style. It may be the same system [as at youth level] but with a tweak here or there.”