I am too outspoken for England, says Redknapp


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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, believes the Football Association did well to overlook him for the England manager's job, if only to give themselves an easier ride during Euro 2012.

Redknapp, widely regarded to be the leading contender for Fabio Capello's replacement, lost out to Roy Hodgson for the post earlier this week.

He is able to joke about the snub now – "I thought England were going to win the World Cup in 2010, maybe that's why I didn't get it" – but far from his talent for self-deprecation, he says he is probably too forthright in his opinions to be a figurehead and spokesman for the England team and, by proxy, its governing body.

Redknapp, who admitted he was "quite relieved" the three-month period of intense speculation is over, said: "I'm not really one for being careful about every word I say. If you're going to sit down and keep talking a load of cobblers, what's the point?

"If you ask me a question, I'll give you an answer, whether or not people like it. I don't know. I get aggravation from people saying 'you shouldn't have said this or that'.

"Well, I'm sorry, don't put me here in front of the cameras if you want me to say something I'm not going to say. If you ask me a question, I'll tell you what I think."

Redknapp's chance to manage England seems to have gone – he admits as much – and he has therefore been painted as a Brian Clough-type figure, forever to remain resentful that, despite his record as a club manager, he has never got to take charge of the national team.

But he insisted: "I am not one to be bitter about anything, I am not that type of person. I was quite relieved on Monday morning when I woke up that it was all out of the way – done, finished and we can all move on. I didn't have a decision to make. It wouldn't have been an easy decision. I wasn't lying in bed wondering what my England squad might be or who I'm going to play.

"I only ever thought about Tottenham. I still don't know to this day when the European Championships start. I haven't even looked. I'm managing a fantastic club with good players. I love going to Anfield, Old Trafford, Chelsea or the Emirates on a Saturday.

"I enjoy being with the players every day. It would have been a different way of life completely to anything I've ever done. It took that decision away from me. I didn't have a decision to make."

At the forefront of Redknapp's mind is hanging on to a qualifying spot for the Champions League. Tottenham, in fourth in the Premier League, are ahead of fifth-placed Newcastle on goal difference ahead of tomorrow's game at struggling Aston Villa.

But Redknapp believes the season should be deemed a success even if Tottenham miss out on the top four. "Manchester United and Manchester City are absolute certainties [for the Premier League title] so you are playing for two places really," he said. "Arsenal make it every year, Chelsea were certainties, Liverpool spent God knows how many million so, you know, if we can make the top four it would be fantastic.

"Realistically where are we? Fifth or sixth maybe. That would be my honest opinion. I wouldn't say we have over-achieved if we finish fourth but we will have done very well."