Roy Hodgson admits to missing Saturdays during his time out of football

Roy Hodgson File Photos
(Image credit: Steven Paston)

Roy Hodgson admits he could be accused of “not retiring gracefully” following his surprise return to top-flight management with relegation-threatened Watford.

The 74-year-old veteran former England boss looked have called time on his extensive career when he stepped down at Crystal Palace at the end of last season.

Yet when troubled Watford came calling last month following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, Hodgson could not resist another crack at the Premier League.

Watford have turned to Hodgson after slumping to 19th in the Premier League

Watford have turned to Hodgson after slumping to 19th in the Premier League (Tess Derry/PA)

“I thought that when I left Crystal Palace that that was the right time to to retire gracefully,” Hodgson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Of course I did say at the time, ‘I’m never going to say never, I’m not going to say something won’t come along that I want to do’.

“But I suppose I could be accused of not retiring gracefully. I can only hope that the job I’ve been brought in to do, by the people who believe I can do it, will be the right one.”

The Hornets are Hodgson’s 17th club in a 47-year managerial career that has also seen him take charge of four national sides.

Although he has enjoyed his free time since last year, he admits he has missed Saturday match days.

“They’ve been the worst days,” said Hodgson, who takes charge of his first game as Watford visit Burnley this Saturday.

“I don’t think I’ve been waking up every morning thinking, ‘I wish I was back in the in the fray’, I’ve enjoyed the time.

“But Saturday afternoon has always been the worst time because that’s the time when you feel you should be involved in football, and I’ve not wanted to ring around people asking for tickets because that didn’t seem right either.”

Former England manager Hodgson is now in charge of his 17th club side

Former England manager Hodgson is now in charge of his 17th club side (Nick Potts/PA)

The opportunity at Vicarage Road came to Hodgson unexpectedly but he had little hesitation taking it.

He said: “I suppose coming out of the blue as it did was an advantage in some ways as I didn’t have a lot of chance to really think it through and am I doing the right thing or not it?

“It came up, it sounded like a really good idea and I was quite enthusiastic about it, so I accepted it and I’ve now got time to to regret it, if I need to, at my leisure.”

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