BOLTON, England, May 3 – Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said he was fully focused on qualifying for next season’s Champions League after insisting he is “history” as far as the England manager’s job is concerned.
After being linked with the biggest job in English football for months, Redknapp saw West Brom’s Roy Hodgson appointed to the post instead, with Football Association officials not even bothering to interview the Spurs boss.
But if Redknapp was bitterly disappointed with the events of the last few days, he was hiding it well after his side won 4-1 away to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium here on Wednesday to keep alive their hopes of a top-three finish in the Premier League.
“I didn’t wake up on Monday morning and think, ‘what’s happened to my life, I’m not the England manager’,” said Redknapp after his side moved to within a point of third-placed Arsenal with two games remaining.
“It’s saved me making an decision in all honesty because I’m very happy at Tottenham,” he added.
“I wish Roy Hodgson all the best. I’m fed up of hearing my name mentioned now. I’m history with that job. Roy deserves it, he’s got it and I just hope he makes a great job of it.”
Asked whether he wanted an explanation as to why he had been overlooked, Redknapp added: “No, not really.
“I’ve been through a lot this year,” said Redknapp in what appeared to be a reference to his acquittal on tax evasion charges in February following a high-profile court case.
“I’m lucky, I’m managing a great club. Top four, one of the best clubs in the country. I’ve come up the ladder from Bournemouth, I get very well paid, I’ve got a fantastic job. There are a lot of lads in the lower leagues who never get the chance.
“I don’t feel as though anyone owes me anything.
“They (the FA) wanted Roy and that’s good enough. Good luck to him.”
Emmanuel Adebayor struck twice while Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart also scored as Tottenham, briefly pegged back by Nigel Reo-Coker’s equaliser, ultimately ran out convincing winners.
Victory left Tottenham in fourth place, ahead of Newcastle on goal difference and just a point behind third-placed north London rivals Arsenal.
England’s top three clubs will qualify for next season’s Champions League proper, with the fourth set to enter the preliminary provided Chelsea, four points adrift of Spurs in sixth place, don’t beat Bayern Munich in this term’s final on May 19.
Tottenham’s last two league games are away to Aston Villa on Sunday and at home to London rivals Fulham on May 13.
“We just have to keep believing and keep playing and it will come right,” said Redknapp.
Bolton, by contrast, have two games, at home to West Brom and away to Stoke, to save themselves from relegation.
They remain in the bottom three, but only by virtue of goal difference and are level on 34 points with Queens Park Rangers.
“We need to dust ourselves down and go and get three points against West Brom on Sunday,” said Bolton manager Owen Coyle.
“We got more than back in game, we were in the ascendancy and looked like we could go on and win the game.
“But we lost soft goals, it was self-inflicted and that’s the disappointing thing. We came roaring back but we were guilty of poor defending. That’s when you need to stand up and be counted.”