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Paul Collingwood throws hat into the ring for permanent England head coach job

Paul Collingwood took on the role as interim head coach as England followed their Ashes humiliation by being beaten 1-0 in their three match Test series in the West Indies

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Dean Wilson reviews England’s defeat against West Indies

Paul Collingwood has thrown his hat into the ring to be the full time England head coach ahead of the summer.

The interim boss is waiting to find out who will be appointed as the new managing director, but hopes that he will be in the frame for the top coaching job despite overseeing a 1-0 defeat in the West Indies. If so, he would follow a similar path to that of Andy Flower who took charge of the side for a tour to the Caribbean in 2009 following Peter Moores’ sacking.

And even though Collingwood has admitted to nerves at taking the job on this time, he believes he has what it takes to see it through in the long term. “I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought,” said Collingwood. “I was a bit anxious and nervous, I’ve had experiences before with the Covid fixtures but this felt different. A lot different.

“I haven’t got much experience as a head coach but you would never get a job if that’s the case. I’ve put my hat in the ring and if they want us they know where I am. They’ve seen what I can do so if they want us they know where I am.

“I feel as though what I’ve done over the last few weeks is a good start but it’s only a start. If I was to take this team forward I’d want to make them a lot better as quickly as possible.” And despite the series loss, Collingwood believes the squad have made strides forward.

“It was always my challenge to leave this team in a better place than when I first got it, and I personally feel as though it’s a lot stronger now than when I first picked the team up. I just feel what we did in these three weeks in terms of realignment, not just the team but the management as well. It felt very together.”

England’s interim coach Paul Collingwood is keen to do the role full time, despite defeat in the West Indies
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Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Collingwood doesn’t boast a vast amount of head coach experience, but neither did Flower when he took over. And the 45-year-old former England batsman has taken a leaf out of Flower’s book when it comes to dealing with the disappointment of defeat.

“When we lost in 2009, we got in a room and talked,” he said. “Andy might have an image of being tough but all we did was get in a room and communicate.

“We might have direct conversations and things that might feel uncomfortable but it wasn’t getting them in a room and giving a b*****king.”

Collingwood has also admitted his fears over the upcoming schedule for England over the next 12 months, with a backlog of games to be played. “We’re playing Covid catchup,” he said.

“Players are putting their bodies on the line and they’ll break physically and emotionally.

“So we’ve got to be a little bit careful to say get the best team on the park every time because that fixture list moving forward is horrific.”

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