ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson insists he has not had to take on a dressing room full of huge egos.
One concern expressed about Hodgson when he was confirmed as Fabio Capello’s successor was how he would handle the star names within the England camp.
His unhappy experience at Liverpool did not bode well and the power said to be exerted at Chelsea by John Terry and company hinted at Hodgson inheriting an unmanageable gang, who would carry on doing their own thing, irrespective of results.
Instead, life at England’s Euro 2012 HQ in Krakow has been good.
There have been no showdowns, just a steely determination to get the job done.
“I feel on a roll because I’ve found it such an enjoyable job,” he said. “I knew working with this group of players was going to be a privilege.
“They have gone about their business in a professional way. When you take on a national team perhaps you take on more egos than you do in a club team.
“That hasn’t been a factor so I suppose in that respect I’m feeling good about the job.”
The backdrop to tonight’s qualification decider with co-hosts Ukraine could not be much more positive.
With Theo Walcott reporting no ill-effects from the tight hamstring he experienced in training yesterday, Hodgson is selecting from a fully-fit squad.
He is also facing a Ukraine team which, for all the fervour of their support, have never won in their six previous internationals in Donetsk, four of which ended in defeat.
“I am more than aware there are plenty of hurdles in front of us, not least tomorrow night,” said Hodgson.
“I’m also aware, unfortunately, that defeats do occur in football and sometimes they occur when you least want them.
“We would all be disappointed if tomorrow night didn’t go our way and we had to take the plane home,” he added. “There would be an enormous amount of dissatisfaction because we believe we have done enough to go on.