Allardyce 'yet to decide' whether Rooney will be England captain

Allardyce with decisions to make over Rooney
Allardyce with decisions to make over Rooney

New England manager Sam Allardyce has yet to decide if he will retain Wayne Rooney as captain.

The 61-year-old, fresh from keeping Sunderland in the Premier League against the odds, was the unanimous choice from the Football Association panel to replace Roy Hodgson, who stepped down after the humiliation of defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

Allardyce, who has added his former Bolton assistant Sammy Lee to his coaching staff, was unveiled at St George's Park on Monday and said it was "far too early" to reveal who he would like to captain the Three Lions heading into the World Cup qualifying campaign.

After describing his management style as "pragmatic", he told Sky Sports News HQ: "I'm going to leave that until I meet all the players and get all the staff together."

He said of his management style: "I think that choosing styles or systems depends on the players available and then who we're playing.

"My coaching technique is to try and give the players the opportunity to win a football match wherever they are playing, be it home or away. And to make them aware of the opposition, which may change the style of how we play."

Allardyce also said it was important he and the players enjoy representing their country, describing the England job as the "pinnacle" of his career.

"I think the bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create a good team spirit. And have some fun, the game of football is to be enjoyed and I've enjoyed my life in the game for many years," he said.

"So as the pinnacle of my career, which this job is, I want to enjoy this the most. So I can only do that with everybody who works for me and works around me."

Allardyce takes the reins of the national team when morale is at a low ebb following the chastening experience in France, but the Dudley-born coach refused to accept confidence is at a nadir.

Branded a troubleshooter for his work with struggling Premier League teams during his career, Allardyce feels he has the club-fixer tag thanks to his track record of maximising player potential.

He fully intends to carry that practice into international management.

"I won't suggest it's rock bottom," he said of player morale in the wake of Euro 2016. I think it's disappointing but I don't think it's rock bottom.

"People see me as someone who can go into a club and turn things around very quickly and I suppose that comes around by taking West Ham up, saving Blackburn and saving Sunderland.

"I consider myself to be much more than that personally, but I can turn things around pretty quickly and I can get among teams and staff and try and create a successful journey.

"I think the successful journey starts by us all pulling together.

"The most important thing are the players. We all work for the team on the pitch and helping them to win.

"What we want to see is the England team being successful and for me that is the greatest challenge in my long career.

"Hopefully I'll be as successful as I have been at other clubs - and I started at Limerick by the way!"

And the England job is not the 'poisoned chalice' many onlookers claim it is, according to Allardyce.

He added: "Not for me. You take the good with the bad otherwise you wouldn't do it. I'm here because I think I'm tough enough to take it, so bring it on lads."