England disappointment 'very difficult' for Big Sam

May 5, 2006

Sam Allardyce admits it has been 'very difficult' to accept he will not become England's next head coach.

The Bolton manager had been on the Football Association's short-list, but yesterday's appointment of Steve McClaren ended his hopes.

Allardyce concedes that McClaren's recent record with Middlesbrough, who he has steered into next week's UEFA Cup final, meant he was a worthy candidate for the position.

Allardyce told Sky Sports: 'It's one of the best jobs you can go for in the lifetime of being a football manager and having the opportunity to go for it has been a pleasure.

'The disappointment is obviously very difficult to take, but as a professional and a manager with Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League you have to accept it and get on with life.

'There are many disappointments in this life, and particularly as a manager, throughout your time but you learn to try to accept it, take it on the chin and get on with it.'

With Allardyce now 51, and with McClaren having been appointed for the next four years, beginning on August 1, the Bolton boss may have to resign himself to never managing his country.

However he wishes McClaren well in the job, which he will begin with a friendly against Greece on August 16 before the serious business of qualifying for Euro 2008 begins.

Allardyce added: 'I'm just really glad, as disappointed as I am, that it's an Englishman with Steve being the man.

'They've obviously gone for some sort of continuity and Steve has been with England for an awful long time.

'Let's face it, recently he's had an excellent record with Middlesbrough. He's got them to the UEFA Cup final and I think that may have played a little part towards it.'