SHAMROCK ROVERS vs TOTTENHAM
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp insists he is fully focused on ensuring Champions League football returns to White Hart Lane next season and will not be distracted by ongoing talk of him succeeding Fabio Capello as England head coach.
Redknapp, who has turned Spurs from relegation candidates into Champions League quarter finalists in little over three years at the helm, has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to take over from Capello, once the Italian steps down after next summer’s European Championships.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy revealed at the club’s AGM on Tuesday that Redknapp had given him assurances that he was not “at this present time” thinking about replacing Capello, and the former Portsmouth boss confirmed that to be the case ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash against Shamrock Rovers.
When asked where he stood on the prospect of becoming national manager, Redknapp replied: “Nowhere really. I just have a job to do here.
“I just have to get on with my job. That’s all I can do.
“I don’t know what will happen at the end of the season, if anything does.
“I don’t look that far ahead really. I am not a person who thinks about next year or the year after, (if you do that) you start wishing your life away.
“I am only looking at what I am doing now. I have to keep focused on Tottenham. The only thing that enters my mind is getting them back in the Champions League.”
Despite having steered his side to third in the Premier League this season, Redknapp and Spurs are staring down the barrel of a Europa League group stage exit.
Not even a win will guarantee the north London club’s presence in the knockout stages and with the odds firmly stacked against them, Redknapp has taken only 15 players to Dublin.
First team regulars Scott Parker, Luka Modric, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker have been left in London, while Roman Pavlyuchenko misses out with a back injury.
Giovani Dos Santos has been passed fit, Niko Kranjcar has overcome a thigh injury and Younes Kaboul is likely to start as he is suspended for the weekend visit of Sunderland, while the likes of Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend are set to start.