England boss must have thick skin, says Robbo

Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli look dejected after the Iceland game
Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli look dejected after the Iceland game

Roy Hodgson’s successor needs to have thick skin if he is to succeed in the England job, says MK Dons boss Karl Robinson.

England crashed out of Euro 2016 in France after a disastrous defeat to Iceland - a game that turned out to be Hodgson’s last in charge of the national team.

And with the search for a successor well under way, Robinson believes the new boss must have certain attributed.

“You’ve got to have very thick skin by the looks,” he said.

“I think you’d find it hard to have players for a week every three months.

“We all have our own theories of how to do it. Some managers love daily contact with their players.

“I imagine it’s a lonely place as an international manager.

“Imagine losing a game, then coming back in three months and losing again - you’ve not won in six months.

“It takes patience, but a stern belief in your own ability, and maybe not being led by the media.”

Robinson felt England played well during the group stages, but failed to capitalise on their dominance.

He added: “I thought they were excellent in the first three games. When you go into these tournaments, you have to look at how and where you dominate games.

“The only game England didn’t perform in was Iceland, and every team has that. France struggled against Ireland but scraped through.

“England’s problem was that when they played well, they didn’t score enough goals.”

While the tournament has seen Wales progress to the semi finals, taking on Portugal tonight (Wednesday), Robinson feels the level expectation placed on the England side was unjustified from the start, given the performance of Premier League sides in the Champions League in recent years.

However, with a young squad given their first taste of tournament football, Robinson believes the current crop of England players will come good.

He said: “We’re not the best country in the world, so we don’t have a divine right to win European Championships or World Cups. How long has it been since we’ve had an English team in the Champions League semi finals? Is the Premier League failing?

“The talent is certainly there, but we need to understand where we’re really at.

“Dele Alli and Eric Dier are only going to get better, Chris Smalling, Danny Rose, John Stones - these players are going to grow and mature. Playing international football is different as a young player.

“The nervousness was heightened in the media. People in the media don’t know how to deal with that pressure. It’s human nature, they’re not robots.”