Roy Hodgson has been backed to handle England's senior players and improve their quality by his West Brom number two Keith Downing.

There have been doubts cast over whether Hodgson is a big enough personality to deal with the egos in an England dressing room. But Downing, who has worked alongside Hodgson at West Brom for the past 15 months, has no doubts that he can cope with that part of the job.

Downing said: "This is the pinnacle of his career. There is no better man at it in terms of experience and dealing with situations. He has gone around the world and dealt with different people like the Inter Milan experience. He dealt with the senior players there. He has handled all that."

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