Redknapp plays down talk of England job-share

Harry Redknapp reckons managing England in June's European Championships while still coaching at club level would be difficult to do, the Tottenham Hotspur boss said on Friday.

The 64-year-old has been so widely backed by punters to succeed Fabio Capello as the next England manager that bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes are closing their books on any more bets.

FA Chairman David Bernstein, who began the search for a new manager on Friday following Wednesday's resignation by Capello, would consider a temporary coach leading England into the finals in Poland and Ukraine but Redknapp was quick to distance himself from the idea.

"I think it would be difficult. It's hard enough managing a league club let alone managing your country. It's two very difficult jobs. You have got to focus on one job," he told a news conference at Spurs' training ground.

"I can't take my eye off the ball at Tottenham at the moment because we are looking to get Champions League football, we are still in the FA Cup and I owe it to them to keep completely focused on the job I'm doing here.

"It wouldn't be fair to anybody at this club if I suddenly started letting my thoughts wander elsewhere."

While Redknapp is the popular choice for the job, it is no foregone conclusion he will succeed Capello, who quit after a row with the FA over the stripping of the captaincy from John Terry.

Given his comments about a jobshare, Redknapp may have to leave Spurs at the end of the season to take the full-time reins of England for the Euros if he is offered the job and accepts it.

However, at this stage he does not want to think about the idea of quitting Tottenham, even in May.

"Things couldn't have gone better for me at Tottenham," the former West Ham United, Portsmouth and Southampton boss said.

"I enjoy my time here, the chairman [Daniel Levy] has been great to me and I've been good for him as well so it's difficult.

"But until the question gets asked would you want the job - and nobody has approached Daniel, and that's the key he's the chairman, until he rings me up and says 'Look I've had an approach' then really there's nothing for me to consider.

"At my age now I have to do what's right for me, that's the key. My family always has got to come first. If the opportunity comes I'll look at it then."


Stuart Pearce, the manager of the England Under-21 and British Olympic team for the London 2012 Games, will be in charge of the squad for England's friendly against Netherlands on February 29 and the FA has not ruled out the possibility of Pearce leading the squad at the European championship either.

Redknapp, speaking before Spurs' Premier League match with Newcastle United on Saturday, said he was just delighted to be back at work after a traumatic two weeks in which he has been on trial for tax evasion.

On Wednesday, a jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on the two charges he faced following a five-year investigation.

"At the moment I just want to get back to a bit of normality," he said as third-placed Spurs aim to keep alive their outside hopes of the title.

"When all this blew up really it was unbelievable timing coming out from what I'd been through and then suddenly the England job comes up and I start getting talked about having a chance of that.

"I was really looking to calm down for a few days and take it easy and getting back here and working here."

Asked about Capello's four-year reign as England manager, Redknapp again talked of how "difficult" the role can be.

"You've only got to look at his record. He's one of the world's great managers," said the Londoner, who had heart surgery in November.

"It just shows you what a difficult job it is to manage England and make a success of it when you go and get somebody like Fabio Capello.

"There wouldn't be too many in the world better than him and he found it difficult and there have been a lot of great managers since Alf Ramsey, unbelievable managers including the great Bobby Robson who we all admired so much.

"He found it difficult. he went through some terrible periods. He got slaughtered at times.

"He wasn't always well-treated. You've had other top managers who have tried and apart from Terry Venables in Euro 96 who came out with loads of credit we haven't really had too much success so it shows you what a difficult job it must be.

"It is a tough job and no-one has got a magic wand."