Redknapp criticises FA for delay in appointing England manager

Redknapp criticises FA for delay in appointing England manager

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has criticised the Football Association for allowing speculation about the England manager's job rumble on for almost three months.

Redknapp was installed as the overwhelming favourite to become England's next head coach in February after Fabio Capello resigned, but the FA this week appointed West Brom boss Roy Hodgson instead.

The period between Capello's resignation and Hodgson's appointment was a tough one for Spurs.

They lost five league games and slipped out of the top four, Redknapp had to deal with constant speculation that he was to be offered the position, and the club even wrote to the Premier League to request that other managers stop tipping him for the job.

Redknapp was happy that the FA did not conduct interviews for the post and holds no grudges against Hodgson, but is disappointed the saga went on for so long.

"It did drag on," Redknapp said.

"I don't know why they didn't do it six weeks ago? What was the big problem? West Brom weren't going to go down.

"It was non-stop speculation."

Redknapp has always maintained his focus throughout has been on Tottenham, but he conceded today that others at the club thought the speculation did have an impact.

He said: "I think (chairman Daniel Levy) thinks it might have done, (assistant manager) Kevin Bond thinks it could have had an effect.

"He thought there was a change, but I didn't see it like that."

Levy was reported to be ready to hand Redknapp a new contract to keep him out of England's clutches, but Hodgson's appointment, and Tottenham's recent slump, have dampened talk of an extension to his current deal, which expires next summer.

Some Spurs fans blamed the manager's tactics for their recent poor run but they made their feelings clear after Wednesday's 4-1 win over Bolton, chanting the 65-year-old's name following a second successive win which lifted them in to fourth.

Redknapp insists he is ready to commit his long-term future to Tottenham but is adamant that he will not pester Levy into handing him a new deal any time soon.

"I've got no thoughts with moving anywhere else," he said.

"I don't feel any different now to a few years ago. I don't feel tired and I've got a good job here.

"But I don't want to make it seem that I am chasing Daniel, asking him to give me a new contract. I'm not."

Redknapp rubbished claims that he was not offered the job because of a reluctance to move to Burton upon Trent, where England's new HQ, St George's Park, is located.

"I read my wife didn't want me going to Burton every day but she doesn't even know where I go now and she doesn't know where Burton is!" Redknapp said.

"There's a Burton's (menswear shop) 10 minutes form where we live. She probably thought it was there."

Hodgson's appointment has led to a bit of a backlash given that Redknapp was the people's choice for the post, but the Spurs boss wishes the former Fulham manager the best and admits he would have missed the day-to-day routine that comes with being a club coach if he had become England boss.

"I enjoy being with the players every day," Redknapp said.

"It would have been a different way of life completely to anything I've ever done. I won't be bitter," he added.

"I was quite relieved on Monday morning when I woke up that it was all out of the way."

Spurs have a chance to leapfrog Arsenal into third this weekend if they beat Aston Villa and the Gunners slip up at home to Norwich today.

Luka Modric underlined his importance to Spurs this week when he scored a screamer in the club's victory at Bolton.

Now that he is not taking the England job, Redknapp is keen to build his squad to be able to launch a sustained title challenge next term and he acknowledges that the likes of Modric and Gareth Bale are key to achieving that goal.

"Once you start selling your best players you're finished," Redknapp said.

"We are not looking to do that. We are looking to build a team here, not dismantle."

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