Redknapp admits: England speculation may have distracted Tottenham

Spurs boss acknowledges that talk about the national team could have affected his side after their form took a turn for the worse while he was touted as Fabio Capello's successor
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that speculation regarding the vacant England post may have affected his side.

The north London side's form imploded while the former Portsmouth boss' name was being linked with the role and have since faltered in the league, dropping behind fierce rivals Arsenal in the race for third place and automatic Champions League football.

Now the 65-year-old appears to have been overlooked in favour of West Brom boss Roy Hodgson, and Redknapp has conceded that he may have been distracted.

"Some people will feel it has, people who work with me think it's definitely had an effect but I don't know really, I'm not sure," he told reporters.

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"It's dragged on a bit, I suppose. That's the only thing. Other than that I've got no problems.

"They choose whoever they want to choose. So I'm very lucky to be managing such a great club with great players.

"It's not something I thought about or I haven't spent the last six weeks thinking: 'Oh my God, what's the squad I'm going to take [to Euro 2012], what am I going [to do]?' I've just been concentrating solely on Tottenham and that's not changed."

In response to Hodgson being granted an interview with the Football Association to discuss the England post, Redknapp insisted: "I wish him all the best. I don't hold grudges."

Spurs' risk of missing out on Champions League football next season has led to talk as to whether key players Gareth Bale and Luka Modric will remain at White Hart Lane. Redknapp evaded such rumours but reiterated the importance of strengthening his side in the summer.

"Well, that's up [to him] – that's up to Gareth and the chairman to discuss that," he said of the Welshman's potential departure.

"I think Tottenham need to strengthen, if we fell down anywhere in the end, it's just that we didn't have quite strong enough depth in the squad.

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"It was difficult to leave too many of my top players out because I lost people like [Tom] Huddlestone and [Michael] Dawson who would have been very important.

"We need to improve next year and just strengthen the squad a little bit and if we do that we'll be right there again."

"I haven't spoke to the chairman but he's ambitious the same as I am," Redknapp added. "I think he'll want to strengthen the squad this year. Everybody's started. Arsenal bought [Lukas Podolski] [on Monday], Chelsea bought [Marko Marin on Sunday], so we'll keep strengthening."