‘Right mermaid’ Roy Hodgson confident he can steer Watford out of choppy waters

Roy Hodgson File Photo
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Roy Hodgson admitted he was unable to resist the lure of the “siren call from the mermaid” after wading back into the Premier League relegation scrap with Watford.

The 74-year-old former England manager, who left his last job at Crystal Palace eight months ago, was named the new Hornets boss last week after Claudio Ranieri’s sacking.

Watford are second from bottom, two points from safety, with 18 matches remaining.

But just he had done previously with Palace, Fulham and West Brom, Hodgson believes he is capable of another rescue act.

At his first press conference since his appointment, Hodgson said: “I think it’s more than possible, I wouldn’t have accepted the challenge had I not believed that we can help the club stay in the Premier League.

“I’m quite confident in that respect that the work we do will have an effect but of course the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.

“Whether it’s a wise decision or a foolish one, time will tell. Why did I come back? I think it was an exciting offer.

“I wasn’t expecting any calls from Watford or anyone else for that matter. But it was a very easy job to accept.

“It was the siren call from the mermaid as the sailor passes by on his ship. They got the right mermaid going past the right ship.”

Hodgson could have been forgiven for being wary of working under the Pozzo family, Watford’s trigger-happy owners who are onto their 16th head coach since they took over in 2012, and with whom he fell out while in charge at Udinese, a row leading to his departure in 2001.

However, Hodgson added: “Any reservations? No not at all. What happened there was as much my fault as any I could attach to them.

Roy Hodgson File Photo

Roy Hodgson is in no doubt he can keep Watford up (Tim Goode/PA)

“In many ways our relationship then was not bad at all I didn’t think, and since that time, which is over 20 years ago, I have spoken to Gino (Pozzo) on many occasions, and to his father.

“So as far as I’m concerned that is water long under the bridge, it had no effect on me accepting this invitation to work for them again.

As for the revolving door of managers at Vicarage Road? “I don’t think about it at all,” said Hodgson.

“When I was offered this job it was under a very clear mandate – can you come in and work with us to the end of the season, do what we think you do well and help us stay in the league?

“Therefore it was very easy for me to accept that challenge because I thought I was capable and wanted to do it.

“I hope they get behind me and the team over these next four months because one thing is very clear, no one at Watford – supporters in particular – want the club to go down.”

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