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AS Roma
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Athletic Bilbao
6:00 PM UTC
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FC Dallas
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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League

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Foster: Roy a better coach than Sir Alex

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster believes new England manager Roy Hodgson is the best coach he has ever worked with - better even than Sir Alex Ferguson.

• Gerrard backs Hodgson appointment
• England unveil Hodgson
• Hodgson calls for backing
• Redknapp: Motivation key for Hodgson

Foster has spent the past year working under Hodgson, who was named as the new Three Lions coach on Tuesday, playing a key role as the Hawthorns club have established their place in the Premier League.

The shot-stopper spent five years working under Ferguson at Manchester United earlier in his career but feels, from a personal viewpoint at least, that Hodgson is actually the superior coach.

"Fergie is obviously the whole caboodle with man-management and things like that. But as far as coaches go, Roy is definitely the best I have worked under. He is fantastic," Foster told the Mirror. "He has a few of the fans and stuff to win over but I am sure he will get results to start with and that will be it, he will be flying.

"I have read a few interviews saying he is a bit of a yes-man and things like that. It is definitely not true. Those people have obviously never worked with Roy Hodgson before. He is a lovely guy and knows his stuff.

"But behind closed doors he is a tough character. He won't take any rubbish from anyone, and rightly so. You should respect your manager.

"This is the first time I have got to work with him. But the time I have been with him, he knows football in and out. He is absolutely meticulous in his preparations, and goes into the fine details of the team we are going to be playing against.

"He lives and breathes football. It is everything to Roy Hodgson."

Much has been made of Hodgson's failure at his last high-profile appointment - with Liverpool almost two years ago. Foster believes the 64-year-old has been harshly judged for a spell that, in the league at least, was not markedly different from his successor Kenny Dalglish's current run of form.

"A lot of people are hanging on to the Liverpool thing as well and bringing that up. If you look at his record and compare it to Kenny Dalglish it is pretty similar," he said. "It didn't go too well for Roy but I don't think you can keep hanging on to that. I can only go from what I have seen this season.

"He has been absolutely fantastic and a pleasure to work with."

Foster's comments may suggest that he is looking for a route back into the international setup, after declaring himself unavailable for a call-up during Fabio Capello's reign. However, he insists he will remain in international retirement despite Hodgson's appointment.

"I stick by my decision. I am happy with the decision I made. Rob Green has had a good season in the Championship and John Ruddy is up and coming and done well.

"It would be very unfair on people like that if I just changed my decision and got straight back in."


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