Hodgson: Euro quarters minimum target
New England boss Roy Hodgson has set his team the minimum target of reaching the Euro 2012 quarter-finals this summer.
Hodgson was confirmed as Fabio Capello's successor on Tuesday, signing a four-year contract that will take him to the European Championships in France, but events in Poland and Ukraine this summer are uppermost in his mind at present.
"The European Championships are tough, with 16 teams who are among the best in the world, not only Europe, and our group is one of the hardest," he said. "But I'd be bitterly disappointed if we didn't get out the group."
He added: "One is tempted to say, because it's England, that success is only reaching the latter stages, or even the only success is winning. But I'd like people to cut us a bit of slack because the resignation of Fabio Capello has made the situation somewhat different."
Hodgson was only offered the job on Sunday afternoon and was understandably reluctant to get into specifics about the likely make-up of his squad.
He did confirm that there would be no expanded squad taken to a planned training camp in Spain, something he found easier to deal with during his successful stint with Switzerland.
However, the potential for injuries in those last-day fixtures mean he will spend little time thinking about exactly who he will require for pre-tournament friendlies against Norway and Belgium.
Hodgson said he would speak to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand at the earliest opportunity, in order to work out whether the differences between them can be worked around, and he added: "I'll get in touch with John and Rio to speak with them, hopefully face to face, and find out where they are in this situation."
Terry will not be getting the captain's armband back after the decision to strip him of it led directly to Capello's exit.
"It's a decision that's made by the executive board of the FA," said Hodgson. "I have no reason to comment on it or discuss it. But it's one I am fully prepared to accept."