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Feb 10, 2012

Redknapp: I couldn't combine two jobs

Harry Redknapp says he is "flattered" to be touted as the favourite to take the England job but insists it would not be possible to combine the national team with his responsibilities at Tottenham Hotspur.

• Tottenham v Newcastle preview
• Redknapp unlikely to leave mid-season
• Hoddle: Spurs will fight for Redknapp
• Agent plays down Hiddink chances

With the Football Association under pressure to appoint an Englishman to succeed Fabio Capello, Redknapp is expected to be offered the job following a meeting at Wembley on Friday.

"It is flattering," he told the press conference ahead of Spurs' meeting with Newcastle. "It's nice, I'd be lying if I said otherwise. I'd have to consider it obviously, but there's been no approach."

However, ESPNsoccernet has been informed that Redknapp will not walk away from Tottenham before the end of the season, and the manager appears to have no interest in taking on the national team part-time.

"It is difficult, very difficult," he said. "It is hard enough managing a league club, let alone your country - two very difficult jobs and your focus has to be on one job.

"I think you can't go home thinking who is playing well and then you can't take your eye off the ball with Tottenham, so I owe it to them to keep completely focused if I let my thoughts wander elsewhere."

With Spurs currently on course for Champions League qualification, chairman Daniel Levy is expected to put up a fight to retain Redknapp, and the manager added: "It is difficult. I am focused on Tottenham - the club have been great. Daniel has brought me here and things could not have gone better here and I love every minute. Great players, good team - excellent team - and I could not be happier."

England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce has been installed as caretaker manager of the senior side for this month's friendly against Netherlands, meaning the possibility remains that Redknapp would be able to see out the season with Spurs before taking charge of the national team for the European Championship.

FA chairman David Bernstein said during Thursday's press conference that all options remain open.

"We are not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage," he said. "He might be English, he might be British, he might not be; he might be for the Euros only, he might be long-term. We need to look at all the options. It would be pointless, 24 hours or less after we have lost our manager, to start limiting ourselves."

Asked how he would have handled the John Terry captaincy situation that ultimately resulted in Capello's resignation, Redknapp joked: "You're trying to get me out of the job before I've even got in!"

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Redknapp is ideally suited to the position.

"There is no doubt Harry Redknapp is the best man," Ferguson said. "The press have decided. Harry is the best man. He has the experience and personality and the knowledge of the game. He has changed the fortunes of every club he has been at. He is the right choice. You should try to get the best man with the best qualities. A young manager has no chance."

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