Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has backed a player’s right to represent his country, even though it might not be in the best interests of the clubs.
Redknapp has been linked with the England manager’s job in the past and he ackowledgs that increasingly, supporters are more concerned with club football rather than the international game.
“I think more and more with fans it’s going that way now,” Redknapp told Sky Sports News. ”But certainly I’d never stop a player going to play for his country. I think it’s difficult to pull people out when they’ve been selected for their countries. It’s a great honour and I’d want them to go and play if possible.
“I can’t genuinely remember any instances where I’ve said to a player, ‘You’re not going to play for your country – you’ve got to stay here because your club comes first’. I wouldn’t do that.”
Redknapp has seen other teams’ players opt out of international games, but thinks that English players are still proud to represent their country.
”They all want to play,” he added. ”The England lads years ago, people like Bobby Moore, they didn’t get 100 and odd caps, and (David) Beckham and Alan Shearer, because they were pulling out of squads.
“They turned up for every squad and wanted to play, and they were proud to play for their country, and I think most of the players still are.”
The Spurs boss also admitted that he was powerless to stop his players getting injuried while on international duty.
“What can you do? They can get injured in training,” he said. ”There’s nothing they can do about it. If you’re going to stop people (playing), you wouldn’t have an England team, a Welsh team or an Irish team or whatever. It’s just one of those things.”