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Roy Hodgson backs Stale Solbakken as Wolves boss

Sport | Published:

Stale Solbakken's shock appointment as new Wolves boss was today given an enthusiastic seal of approval by England manager Roy Hodgson.

Stale Solbakken's shock appointment as new Wolves boss was today given an enthusiastic seal of approval by England manager Roy Hodgson.

The two were manager and captain 12 years ago when they led FC Copenhagen to the club's first championship for eight years in Denmark.

They have remained firm friends ever since and outgoing Albion boss Hodgson admitted he was delighted and impressed by Wolves' decision to give the 44-year-old Solbakken his chance in English football.

"I'm delighted because he is a good friend but also because I think it is an excellent appointment," said Hodgson. "And I think it is a good, exciting move by Wolves. It's not an appointment many would have expected from a part of Europe from which English clubs do not usually recruit.

"But I can tell Wolves fans they have hired a superb coach – Stale is a bright, young and impressive coach with good ideas and I am confident he will do well."

It was Albion's destruction of Wolves at Molineux which triggered the events which brought the club to yesterday's announcement.

The sacking of Mick McCarthy followed the Baggies' 5-1 derby defeat but the appointment of Terry Connor as interim manager has failed to yield a single victory in 12 games and brought relegation.

Hodgson was planning to speak to Solbakken during his final weekend as Albion head coach, the pair having become close when the Baggies boss took charge at Copenhagen in 2000.

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That campaign finished with the club becoming champions for the first time since 1993 but Solbakken's playing career was ended by a heart defect discovered when he collapsed in training.

"When something like that happens, it naturally brings you closer together and since then Stale and I have been good friends," he said.

"But he was terrific captain for me, a fine footballer, and my assistant in that season at Copenhagen.

"I left after that and Stale took over and went on to have the most amazing success. Five championships in six years – that was a wonderful effort.

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"He is a fine coach in my view with good ideas. I congratulate Wolves on an impressive appointment."

See also:

  • Wolves appoint new manager Solbakken
  • Give Stale Solbakken a chance – Mark McGhee
  • ‘Disappointed’ Terry Connor pledges future to Wolves
  • Blog – Solbakken appointment is leftfield but promising

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