Roy Hodgson is up for the Watford downhill dogfight challenge after admitting he couldn’t resist the “siren’s siren’s call”. Former England manager Hodgson left his last job at Crystal Palace eight months ago amid speculation he might retire. But the 74-year-old was appointed as Watford’s third manager this season following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri last month. The Hornets languish in 19th place in the Premier League, two points from safety with 18 games remaining. Despite Watford’s dangerous position, Hodgson said their offer was too strong to resist as he aims to plot another escape act, having previously helped Palace, Fulham and West Brom avoid relegation from the top tier.
“I think it’s more than possible. I wouldn’t have taken the challenge if I didn’t believe we can help the club stay in the Premier League,” Hodgson said at his first news conference at Watford on Wednesday.
“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. But it was a very easy job to take.”
“It was the siren’s song when the sailor passed by on his ship. They got the right siren to pass through the right ship.”
Hodgson could have been forgiven for being wary of working with Watford’s notoriously demanding owners, the Pozzo family.
He fell out with the Pozzos during his reign in Udinese, a dispute that led to his departure in 2001.
The Pozzos are on their 16th boss since taking over at Watford in 2012, but Hodgson had no qualms about returning to work for the Italians.
“Any reservations? No, not at all. What happened there was as much my fault as anything else I could attribute to them,” he said.
“In many ways, our relationship then was not bad at all, I did not think about it, and since then, more than 20 years ago, I have spoken with Gino (Pozzo) on many occasions and with his father.
“So as far as I’m concerned, the water is a long time under the bridge, it had no effect on my accepting this invitation to work for them again.”
Hodgson’s first game in charge is a crucial clash as Watford travel to Burnley on Saturday.