Roy Hodgson has taken charge as national team coach of Finland seven months ahead of schedule, the Finnish Football Association has confirmed.

Hodgson will have Jyrki Heliskoski as his deputy, with their first matches a pair of friendlies in Riyadh against Saudi Arabia on Jan. 21 and South Korea four days later.

Heliskoski was appointed caretaker coach in July after Antti Muurinen was sacked after failing to reach the World Cp finals.

Hodgson, 58, who was employed by Norway’s Viking Stavanger, took Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup finals and the Euro 96 finals.

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