Redknapp: I'll consider it

2012-02-10 17:34

London - Harry Redknapp said on Friday he would consider taking the England manager's post if offered the chance to succeed Fabio Capello.

Redknapp, currently in charge of Premier League high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur, said: "It wouldn't be easy (leaving Spurs). It would be very difficult.

"I'm happy, but if the opportunity comes, and I get asked, I'll have to consider it."

The 64-year-old Englishman is the odds-on favourite to succeed Capello, who resigned on Wednesday in protest at the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

Italian manager Capello's decision to quit was announced just hours after Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion charges in a London court, thereby removing what many believed was the last remaining obstacle to the Englishman's hopes of taking charge of his country.

But Capello's move has left the FA looking for a new manager just four months before England compete in the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

FA officials have suggested they could opt for a caretaker coach for the tournament, allowing whoever was then in charge of England to combine the post with a club role.

However, Redknapp, who has guided Tottenham to an impressive third in the Premier League, was wary of doubling up.

"It is hard enough managing a league club let alone managing your country, it's two very difficult jobs," he said Friday.

"I think your focus has got to be on one job, you can't be going home thinking, 'Who's playing well in this situation?'

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

"It wouldn't be fair to anybody here if I started to let my thoughts wander elsewhere," he added with Spurs bidding for their first English title since 1961.

Capello resigned on Wednesday after the FA stripped Terry of the England captaincy without consulting the Italian manager as the Chelsea defender prepares to contest a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand at a trial which will take place in July – after Euro 2012.

Just hours earlier Redknapp had been found not guilty of tax evasion charges and the former West Ham and Portsmouth boss said the last few weeks had been a draining experience.

"It's knocked me for six. I haven't felt so good the last couple of days but I feel better today," Redknapp said.

In the short-term, former England defender Stuart Pearce, the current Under-21 coach, will take charge of England for their friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on February 29.

After that, all scenarios are under consideration, suggesting it would be possible for Redknapp to lead England at Euro 2012 before making way for another manager if he chose to stay at Tottenham.

"That is a possibility," FA chairman David Bernstein said Thursday when asked if a caretaker coach could lead England in Poland and Ukraine

"It might not be the case, but all options are open. I'm only talking common sense – we're not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage."