Downing - Roy has what it takes
West Brom assistant manager Keith Downing has no doubts about Roy Hodgson's ability to handle senior players with England.
Last Updated: 05/05/12 6:48pm
West Brom assistant manager Keith Downing has no doubts about Roy Hodgson's ability to handle senior players with England and says he would be prepared to axe anyone not living up to his standards.
Hodgson has signed a four-year contract as Fabio Capello's successor and Downing insists he will make it very clear to the squad what is expected of them.
Hodgson has quickly stamped his mark at West Brom during 15 successful months and Downing is adamant he will be able to do the same with the Three Lions.
He said: "With Roy and England, there will be no grey areas and people will know the role they are expected to do.
"They will be told in no uncertain terms and, if you don't do it, you won't play.
"Because of his soft approach, people might misinterpret how he is and whether he can handle senior players.
"But he will tell people exactly what he wants and he will repeatedly tell people - and get angry if he has to.
"I've seen him do that. He has integrity and nothing is ever personal. It's a business call. If you speak to anyone they will tell you that professionally he's a good man."
Downing is full of admiration for Hodgson's enthusiasm for the game at the age of 64 and his attention to detail.
He said: "People ask about his strengths and the first thing that comes to mind is his enthusiasm.
"He is out there every day with a ball under his arm like it's his first session.
"There is detail in how he works and every day has a structure and a purpose and the players are getting small pieces of detail which are vital in helping them improve.
"It's about his experience and how he puts it across.
"He wants players to get better and he's prepared to make them better, and if they buy into that they will improve, whatever age they are."
Downing added: "International get-togethers are quite short at times but the work Roy does is position-specific so it fits into the criteria of having only two to three days.
"He's got to get the team organised and individual jobs known and that's what he does really well.
"He organises his teams in that short space of time like you have to do.
"Because it is such a short space of time they need to know what their jobs are and what the plans are and I think he fits into that straight away."