KIDD TELLS FANS TO BACK HODGSON
Manchester City assistant-boss Brian Kidd has urged the nation to get behind new England boss Roy Hodgson rather than carping about the men he has left out of his squad.
City have more reason to moan than most given Micah Richards was one of the most notable absentees.
The Blues full-back was even overlooked on Tuesday when Hodgson chose to bring in Liverpool's Martin Kelly as cover for Anfield team-mate Glen Johnson.
However, Kidd does not view it is a time to start getting on Hodgson's back.
Speaking at the launch of the "I Put My Shirt On It" initiative in Manchester on Wednesday, Kidd feels Hodgson should receive support from the game rather than condemnation.
"It has been very difficult for Roy," said Kidd.
"He has just taken over and the job is difficult enough without people passing comment.
"Everybody should get behind him and want the team to do well.
"It is very common to be judgmental in football but Roy has his own points of view. Everybody should back him."
St Bede's College was the natural place for Kidd to launch an initiative that will raise money for various charities through the "I Put My Shirt On It Scheme", where fans can buy either England or Republic of Ireland themed shirts ahead of Euro 2012.
His daughter teaches at the school and two of his grandchildren are being educated there, emphasising his Mancunian roots.
However, whilst Kidd is still getting his breath back after that staggering Premier League title triumph, thoughts are quickly turning towards Poland and Ukraine.
The 62-year-old knows exactly what England are going through, after spending just over a year as assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson before being forced to withdraw from his role just prior to Euro 2004 after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
And he expects to see Hodgson have a massive input on the training ground, having replaced him as Blackburn manager in December 1998.
"I have great admiration for Roy," said Kidd. "What he has done in the game is fantastic.
"He will be very hands on. He is one of those people who works day-to-day on the training pitch."
England's players finally met their new coach for the first time on Wednesday after Hodgson scrapped an intended training camp in Spain and instead gave them two additional days off.
Chelsea's Champions League-winning squad and Manchester United star-man Wayne Rooney will not report for duty until next week, which does not seem to leave much time for preparation ahead of the Group D opener against France in Donetsk on June 11.
However, Kidd believes Hodgson has done exactly the right thing.
"The Premier League is tough, hard and demanding," he said. "There is no respite.
"Roy has tried to give the players a little break, which will do them the world of good.
"At this stage of the season, you are not training anyway, you are maintaining.
"The England players are usually involved with clubs who are going for something at the end of the season and you only have to look at the managers to see what it takes out of them. They age 50 years in a single season.
"It is non-stop. Technically you can question it but physically and mentally it is the most demanding in Europe."
***To purchase a charity T-shirt visit www.iputmyshirtonit.com. Funds go to Hearts and Minds Challenge, Henshaws Society for the Blind, Claire House Children's Hospice and The School Under The Tree.
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