Michael Owen backs Gary Neville for England job

Michael Owen backs Gary Neville to become the next England manager when Roy Hodgson's contract expires in 2016.

Former England striker Michael Owen has backed Gary Neville to succeed Roy Hodgson as Three Lions manager when his contract expires in 2016.

The 66-year-old's future has been called into question after his side's elimination from the World Cup in the group stages.

Owen believes that Neville, who is part of Hodgson's coaching staff, could make the step up to the main job.

"If the Football Association is planning beyond the end of Roy Hodgson's current contract in 2016, they should look no further than the man sitting alongside him as the next England manager. Gary Neville," Owen wrote in The Telegraph.

"Neville can spend the next two years being readied for the senior role and see the job through with the current crop. There are moments when you should trust your gut instinct that a former player has the knowledge, the respect, the aura and the natural leadership skills to do the job. Neville has these qualities.

"I would be confident of progression – and genuinely optimistic about the direction we will take – if Neville was leading rather than assisting England in Russia in 2018."

England are preparing to take on Costa Rica in their final match at the World Cup this evening.

England coach Gary Neville watches a training session on August 11, 2013
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