Venables keeps quiet on England job

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The Independent Football

Terry Venables, the favourite to succeed Kevin Keegan as England coach, declined today to say whether he would take the job if offered.

Terry Venables, the favourite to succeed Kevin Keegan as England coach, declined today to say whether he would take the job if offered.

Venables has carefully avoided the question since emerging as the media and bookmaker favourite. A Sky Sports television reporter cornered him today, but he still would not tip his hand.

"I'm not dealing with ifs," he said, when asked if he would accept an offer from the English Football Association. "I've not been asked so I can't answer that."

In a separate interview, the former England coach appeared keen to be offered, saying he was "starving" to return to a high-profile job and that he relishes the intense scrutiny that comes with coaching England.

"It's the most difficult job," he said. "You've got to be a bit mad to take it. Maybe that's why I've got the qualifications for that."

Venables, who guided England to the semifinals of the Euro '96 championship, was forced out of the job by an off-the-pitch scandal. His relationship with the FA remains strained, making it unlikely that he would overtly apply for the job.

FA chief executive Adam Crozier has hinted the door is open for Venables' return.

"All people have made mistakes in the past and no one is perfect," Crozier said. "As it stands, no one is being discounted from the job."

Keegan unexpectedly quit in the moments after a devastating Oct. 7 loss to Germany in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

Several top candidates - including Peter Taylor, Peter Reid and Aime Jacquet - have already ruled themselves out of the job. When Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger joined their ranks on Friday, bookmaker William Hill slashed the odds on Venables to 4-5.

Venables said he has been warmed by growing public sentiment for him to be given the job.

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