Laws backs Hodgson to succeed Capello

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The Independent Football

Brian Laws thinks Roy Hodgson would be "the perfect choice" to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager.

Laws' Burnley side travel to Craven Cottage in the Barclays Premier League tonight to take on Fulham, whose fortunes have been transformed by Hodgson over the last two years.

The Cottagers were struggling in the relegation zone when Hodgson was appointed manager in December 2007, but after keeping the club up in his first season, the former Blackburn and Inter Milan boss led them to seventh place and qualification for Europe in the following campaign.

Fulham are currently 10th in the table and have made it to the knockout stages of the Europa League, with Hodgson signing a new 12-month rolling contract in December.

But the 62-year-old, who has international managerial experience with Switzerland and Finland, has frequently been touted as a successor to Capello when the Italian's time in charge of England comes to an end, and Laws believes Hodgson has the ideal credentials.

"He's very experienced, he knows the game inside out and I think he'd be the perfect choice," said Laws.

"I don't think you can be England manager without all those ingredients.

"You have to have had those experiences and I think you have to be at a certain age. It's not one for a young manager; I think you have got to be seasoned.

"You need that aura about you and he has certainly got that."

Laws has no fresh injury concerns ahead of tonight's contest and defender Stephen Jordan is pushing to be in contention after two weeks out with a hamstring strain.

Chris McCann's recovery from a knee problem is progressing well but the match has come too soon for him, while Graham Alexander (calf) and Steven Caldwell (groin) remain out.

Meanwhile, Burnley have unveiled ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Turf Moor as part of a project that also includes the country's first 'Football University'.

Clarets chief executive Paul Fletcher is leading the 'Premier Plan' in conjunction with Burnley Borough Council and The Prince's Charities.

The proposals, which Fletcher expects will take two to three years to reach fruition, would see a "StadiArena" stand erected in place of the David Fishwick Stand at Turf Moor, which would be employed to stage concerts and conferences in addition to its use for football.

Laws hailed the news as further evidence that the club, who won promotion to the top flight for the first time in 33 years last summer, is heading in the right direction.

"Any football club that stands still is going backwards for me and this is just another large step forward for this football club," Laws said.

"Regeneration, change and progress are what this football club has been striving for for a long, long time and the fact is we are now very close to it."

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