x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Harry Redknapp will decide on England job at end of Premier League season

Speaking exclusively to Abu Dhabi Sports, the Tottenham Hotspur manager says he thinks England will win Euro 2012 and that a part-time role is feasible in the short term.

Tottenham’s Harry Rednapp is the popular choice to become the next England manager.
Tottenham’s Harry Rednapp is the popular choice to become the next England manager.

Harry Redknapp, the England national team's manager-elect, has set a high target for a job he says he will formally decide whether or not to take at the end of the Premier League season.

In his first exclusive interview since Fabio Capello resigned the post, Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, recognises he is "the popular choice" to lead England into a European Championship he believes they will win.

"I think England will win it," said Redknapp in an interview with Abu Dhabi Sports. "Spain are favourites, Germany strong, but I'd love to see England win it and then go to Brazil 2014. You have to fancy one of the South American teams there, but the Euros is one for England to win.

"For sure I think we have a big chance. I thought England would win the World Cup in South Africa. I thought we had the manager in Capello. I felt we had the players and I really felt South Africa was going to be the best chance England had of winning the World Cup since 1966. But it just didn't work out for whatever reason.

"But we have good players if you look through the team. So many players who have played Champions League, Champions League winners, it's a team full of quality.

"They're good players, good leaders, good characters, good young players coming through. I think it's a well-balanced team. They qualified in great style, so I don't see why England can't have a great championships."

Redknapp said he will not commit to taking the England position until he has completed a Premier League campaign with Tottenham in which he says it "is not impossible" for the London club to finish champions.

There is throughout the interview, however, a constant undertone of the 64 year old preparing for his coronation in the English Football Association's top job.

Asked if he would have followed Capello's example in resigning over the FA's decision to remove John Terry from the England captaincy, Redknapp joked: "If I say 'yes' I'll be sacked from the England job before I've even started."

He says that is there no significant drawback to England in waiting until May to appoint the new manager, and that he would consider taking on the position on a part-time basis for the Poland-Ukraine tournament.

"It's a decision for the FA but it's very difficult to find anyone who's in a job at the moment because it's an important time of the year for every club and manager - so for somebody to walk away from a club won't be easy," Redknapp said.

"I think they are going to have to accept that they are going to have to wait until the end of the season and whoever takes it at the end of the season I think there's still time. You don't see the players anyway; everybody's playing for their clubs so it's not as if you're training with the players everyday like you do at a club.

"You're only going to see them at the end of the season because they've got so many games between now and the end of the season. International football will be at the back of their minds.

"Part-time? I think in the short-term maybe it's possible for the European Championships but I think in the long-term it's not possible to manage a club team and a national team. I think it's so difficult, you know it's a full-time job.

Harry Redknapp's exclusive interview

"You want to be watching the England players play, you want to be watching the opposition. I think whoever they give the job to can only do the one job. Maybe before the Euros, but after the Euros are finished and a new season in England begins then the manager has to be either a Premier League manager, or the national team manager."

Speaking during a trip to Dubai, Redknapp also reflected on his recent trial for two counts of alleged tax evasion while manager of Portsmouth.

Instructed to deliver a unanimous verdict at the conclusion of the 13-day trial, the jury found Redknapp innocent of charges he says should never have been brought to court.

"It was a very difficult time in my life, the most difficult time," said Redknapp. "It should really have never have gone to court."

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