Wednesday, February 3, 1999 Published at 19:04 GMT
Wilkinson shocked over Hoddle affair
Wilkinson: No thoughts on reincarnation
Interim England football coach Howard Wilkinson has made his debut before the media, saying he was "very shocked" at being offered the job after the sacking of Glenn Hoddle.
He said: "My specific thoughts about reincarnation - I don't have any. It's not a subject to which I can say I've devoted a lot of thought."
Wilkinson described football management as "living in a goldfish bowl".
In a good-humoured press conference, the stand-in coach said he was carrying out the role as a "charity function".
Sometimes we don't like it but we have to deal with it.
"Sometimes it is very difficult but it is not going to change."
Turning to press scrutiny, he said: "My brief is to look after the team until next Thursday (after a friendly match against France).
"I reckon that if I am very, very careful between now and then, there won't be much about me to look into.
"If you are lucky enough to be a football manager and you are lucky enough to be well paid, you have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth," he said. "Up to now I have had it smooth."
Earlier in the day, the former chairman of the Football Association Sir Bert Millichip led accusations that Glenn Hoddle was hounded from his job by intense media and political pressure.
Hoddle lost his England job after four days of intense pressure after telling a newspaper that disabled people were paying for the sins of previous lives.
Writing in the national press, sports pundits have said that Mr Blair's intervention proved the turning point in the FA's thinking.
Former prime minister John Major led Conservative attacks on Mr Blair, accusing him of "endulging in mob mentality".