Glenn Hoddle is backing his close friend Peter Taylor to beat the blues at Leicester City.
The pair’s friendship goes back to their playing days at the Lane in the 1970s and the relationship continued on a professional basis when Glenn appointed Taylor as his Under-21 boss when he was manager of England.
Taylor made a superb success of that job and after a fantastic campaign at Gillingham was appointed by Leicester when the popular Martin O’Neill moved to Celtic.
But things have gone downhill quickly after a superb start to this season and the FA Cup quarter-final upset at the hands of giant-killers Wycombe in March kick-started a record run of eight-successive Premiership defeats.
Injuries have also taken their toll on Taylor but Glenn insists he will be back.
Glenn said: “Peter is a very good friend of mine, always has been, always will be.
“We worked really well together with him as Under-21 manager. A lot of eyebrows were raised when I brought him in, got a lot of criticism in the press and then the same people in the press were saying he should be a candidate for the England manager’s job.
“I know what Peter’s qualities are. It’s a fickle business. At the beginning of the season he was being hailed as the next England manager, or to be groomed for it and rightly so, he’s done a great job at Leicester.
“Things have turned recently but that is a test of a manager and I know he has the character to turn it around.
“The difficult thing about him being a friend is that he’s on a terrible run and we are going there with a young side and putting our professional head on to try and get the three points.”
Glenn added that close friendships go further than football.
“I spoke to Peter a couple of weeks ago and left messages of encouragement,” Glenn revealed. “We’ve all been there. We’ve all had low times.
“I remember him picking me up when we’d lost against Italy at Wembley in the World Cup qualifiers but we bounced back from that. It’s been about that with Peter and I hope he gets his first win the following week rather than this.
“Close friends and people who you trust, admire and get on well with mean more than football. That’s at a deep level.
“I know Peter has the quality and know-how to get Leicester back on track and next season he will start off again how he started this season.
“He’s had a few injuries to key players as well and, of course, I know how he feels on that one. He’s got the character, he’s got the ability and if people don’t panic and stick with him he’ll do a job there.”
Listen to what Glenn had to say by clicking here
By Paul Miles