Redknapp: Players tried to shirk England duty

The QPR boss revealed that English players would come to him for help in dodging international matches on a regular basis when he was in charge at White Hart Lane
Harry Redknapp has claimed that several of his players tried to get out of playing for England when he was manager of Tottenham.

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The 67-year-old, who guided QPR back to the Premier League via the play-offs last season, offered a damning insight into the apparent lack of desire among some English players to represent their country.

"When I was at Tottenham two or three international players did not want to play for England," he told BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday.

"They would come to me and say, 'gaffer, get me out of the game'. It happened on quite a few occasions."

Redknapp, who was in charge at White Hart Lane for just short of four years, did not name any of the players in question but the revelation offers a further hint at the troubles surrounding the England national team and its future.

Roy Hodgson's side are already out of the World Cup in Brazil but the Football Association have lent their backing to the current boss.

Redknapp, though, is not optimistic about England's future, offering a grim assessment of their hopes at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - a tournament which FA chairman Greg Dyke has earmarked as one which the Three Lions should aim to win.

"Are we going to win the World Cup in Doha? Good luck. Not a prayer. Get in the real world," he added.

"We went to South Africa with a good bunch of players. We went to Brazil and should have won the group."

Defeats to Italy and Uruguay have led to the latest inquest into the state of English football but Dyke offered his backing to Hodgson on Friday.

Hodgson's contract runs until 2016 and Dyke expects him to remain in charge at least until then.