EXCLUSIVE: Ron Atkinson says England right to go for Big Sam and not a foreign coach

That is the view of ex-Manchester Utd and Aston Villa boss Ron Atkinson as the hunt for Roy Hodgson’s successor continues to focus on Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce.

Big Sam, 61, may not be the perfect choice in a perfect world but – as Big Ron, 77, point outs – England are in a far from perfect place after their embarrassing Euro 2016 exit.

But whether you prefer Allardyce to Hull boss Steve Bruce – or even an interim pairing of Glenn Hoddle and Harry Redknapp – as long as the FA avoid the foreign route, Atkinson insists we should be happy.

He said: “Sam is the obvious favourite – with Bruce and Hoddle also in the frame. That’s fine with me.

“The starting point for the FA is to find an Englishman. There may not be a huge number of top English candidates around but that’s life.

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