Redknapp: Focused on beating Stevenage, not England coach job
The Spurs' manager rejected any notions that he might be get distracted by talks linking him to the England job, and said that the only thing he had thought about all week was how to beat Stevenage in the FA Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, rejecting any notion he might be getting distracted by talk linking him to the England job, said on Friday the only thing he had thought about all week was how to beat Stevenage in the FA Cup.
There has been daily speculation in British newspapers over whether he will be installed as England boss ever since Fabio Capello resigned earlier this month, while fans, players and fellow managers have also been touting his credentials.
While all the fuss over him has not gone unnoticed, Redknapp said his mind was firmly focused on Sunday's trip to League One (third division) Stevenage in the fifth round of a competition Spurs are favourites to win for the first time since 1991.
"People would find it hard to believe that all week I haven't gone away and got distracted," he told reporters at his pre-match briefing at the club's training ground in Chigwell, north of London.
"I've been thinking about Stevenage all week. It's going to be a tough game. That's all I've been thinking about -- trying to get a result at Stevenage."
His assertion that he had not even been approached by the FA over the England vacancy, coupled with a declaration of his commitment to his club, will be pleasant reading for Spurs fans who have sung songs and waved banners begging him not to leave.
But his failure to rule himself out of the running will not be.
"I've not discussed the job with anybody. Last week I see a couple of managers ruled themselves out without even being ruled in, I'm not going to rule myself out but I've never been ruled in either," he said.
Redknapp has said it would be possible to manage a top-flight club and look after England at Euro 2012 -- which is less than four months away -- but on Friday made clear that was only viable in the short term.
"In the long term it's not a job that could be done part-time, whoever they appoint it's a full-time job," he said.
"You couldn't run a Premier League club or any other club in any country in the world and do that job as well, it's impossible."
The Englishman is the hot favourite for the job thanks to an affable nature and an impressive management record — not least at Spurs where he has built a crowd-pleasing team who are challenging for the Premier League title.
Last season he took them to a surprise Champions League quarter-final and this term he is on track to ensure they qualify for Europe's elite club competition. They are currently third, seven points behind league leaders Manchester City.
They will put aside their league ambitions temporarily this weekend as the FA Cup takes centre stage and where in the absence of Manchester United and City, Spurs have become the front runners.
"I've really got a job to do here," Redknapp replied when asked if uncertainty over the England post would be resolved soon.
"My focus has really got to be on trying to get Tottenham as high as I can in the table - the Champions League is what we really want this year and the FA Cup is there as well, we've got a chance in that," he said.
"So I've really got to keep focusing on that, I can't start thinking about anything else really."
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