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Hodgson confident of pulling off another great escape at Watford


London (AFP) – Former England boss Roy Hodgson said on Tuesday he believes he is capable of pulling off the “massive challenge” of keeping Watford in the Premier League given his impressive record in relegation battles.

Hodgson was appointed as the Hornets’ third manager this season following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking 24 hours earlier.

A 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Norwich on Friday left Watford languishing in 19th in the table, two points adrift of safety.

“It’s a massive challenge, but it’s a challenge I believe I’m ready to take on and one that I’m very excited about,” Hodgson told Watford’s website after his appointment.

The 74-year-old has previously kept Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham in the English top-flight when appointed mid-season.

“I’m certainly looking forward to it, and if the players are as good as I think they can be, then I’m hopeful of helping the club to another season in the Premier League,” Hodgson said.

“I’m confident in the sense that I’ve been in situations that aren’t so different to this before, at Fulham, West Brom and Palace.”

Many believed Hodgson would retire when he stepped down as Palace boss at the end of last season.

And he said the call to take over at Vicarage Road came “out of the blue” after a desperately poor performance against Norwich sealed Ranieri’s fate.

“I haven’t actively sought another position, and the last thing on my mind when I watched Watford’s match against Norwich last week was that I could become the club’s manager,” he said.

“It’s come out of the blue, but very pleasantly out of the blue and I do feel very ready to take this challenge on.”

Hodgson’s first match in charge is on February 5 in a huge clash in the relegation battle as Watford travel to bottom-of-the-table Burnley.

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