World Cup qualification proudest moment for manager Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has revealed that safely guiding England to a place at the 2014 World Cup is the proudest moment of his career, BBC Sport has reported.

England sealed their spot in Brazil with a 2-0 win over Poland to finish top of Group H, ahead of Ukraine, as goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard delivered the required three points. And Hodgson, who managed internationally with Switzerland, taking the country to two tournaments in the mid-1990s, ranked this qualification above both of those.

To go to a World Cup in 1994 and a Euros in 1996 with Switzerland was pretty good,” Hodgson said. “But I’m English. As an Englishman, it means a little bit more to you.

I don’t think you can help but feel the pressure because we know how important it is to so many people,” the former West Brom boss added when asked about the pressure of a qualification decider at Wembley. “I died a thousand deaths every time Poland crossed the halfway line, which is what you do but I do think this team is growing now.

Hodgson went on: “England’s a very big football nation. So many people are desperate to see England participate and hopefully do well in a World Cup so we knew that it was on our shoulders to make certain that we didn’t disappoint them.

The pressure is always from the outside and it weighs upon you because you know that you sometimes needs that little bit of luck.

England qualified with 22 points and 31 goals from their 10 games, the third-highest goals for tally behind the Netherlands and Germany. Only Spain conceded fewer goals than England’s four, but the World Cup holders were in a group of five teams, rather than six, and as such played nine games to England’s 10.

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