Jul 25, 2016

    Let's start delivering, urges Big Sam


    NEW England manager Sam Allardyce told his players on Saturday to use their Euro 2016 exit as motivation for the future.

    The 61-year-old, who kept Sunderland in the Premier League last term, wants a young England team to stay positive.

    "It's a very bitter experience as we all know but that inner drive... Players should keep that, they should hold it and use it as a positive, say 'we don't want to experience that again'," he said in an interview with FATV.

    "I think first and foremost it's about regaining, perhaps, a bit of confidence they have lost after the Euros.

    "Let's start delivering, gain from the experience that you gained at the Euros.

    "We are going to get into the qualifiers, try to qualify for the World Cup and when we go next time, we're better prepared, I think mentally, to succeed."

    But his task is a difficult one as England remain without a major trophy since their World Cup triumph 50 years ago, and without a semi-final appearance since hosting Euro 96.

    He also used his first interview as manager to give a rallying call to English supporters.

    "There's nothing wrong with England fans, they have supported the team through thick and thin and there's nothing wrong with the support they give," he said.

    "We all have to face criticism at this level; the level of criticism sometimes is far greater at international level because it's just a short time together, but also praise is also far greater as well."

    Allardyce's two-year deal includes the task of trying to bring a clear identity to the junior sides and first team.

    "Man-management, I think," he said when asked what he would bring to the job.

    "(And) creating a backroom staff that delivers a great service... You have to manage that, not just manage players but manage staff, to delegate to them and give confidence."

    He will see his players in action for the first time in a friendly at Wembley on Sept 1 against as-yet unnamed opponents.

    England kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup with a trip to Slovakia on Sept 4.