ALAN Pardew today ruled himself out of the running to be the next England manager – and reiterated his commitment to Newcastle United.
Pardew has been touted as a successor to Fabio Capello, who resigned yesterday.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is the bookmakers’ favourite, and ahead of Saturday’s meeting between United and Spurs at White Hart Lane, Pardew has moved to end speculation linking him with the post.
And he instead followed Sunderland chief Martin O’Neill’s lead in backing Redknapp to succeed Capello, who left his post in the wake of the Football Association’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
Pardew said: “Firstly, as an Englishman, I’m proud to be in the frame.
“But I want to make it clear I’m not in the running. I’m very happy at Newcastle.
“We’ve got a project here, and it’s going very well.
“Because of the passion, and everything about the place, I want to stay here.
“I’m quite happy where I am. I want to stay here and see the job through.
“But I hope the job goes to an Englishman. I think that’s important this time. I hope Harry, Spurs and the FA can sort something out which works for everyone.”
O’Neill, overlooked for the England job when Steve McClaren was appointed in 2006, also distanced himself from the England hotseat, while extolling the virtues of Redknapp.
“I think there is a cry-out for an English manager now, and Harry’s achievements at Tottenham over the last couple of years have been outstanding,” said O’Neill.
“He qualified for the Champions League and they look as though they are going to get there again, so he’s done exceptionally well.
“I think he should be (the next England manager) and I think he deserves the opportunity. He should be the one.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s JJ Hooper returns from injury for tonight’s FA Youth Cup fifth-round tie against Queens Park Rangers at St James’s Park (7pm kick-off).
The striker has been out since undergoing a hernia operation after United’s third-round win over Darlington in December.
Forward Adam Campbell will be involved after helping England’s Under-17s win the Algarve Tournament last week, and the 17-year-old is confident United can win the competition for the first time since 1985.
“It’s a tournament we think we can win,” said Campbell. “We haven’t won it in a while, and it’s a big thing. We’re confident going into it.”
Defender Remie Streete has recovered from a groin injury in time to play.
SQUAD: Baird, Mitchell, Turton, Logan, Toland, Riley, Streete, Smith, Storey, Miele, Sayer, Knight, Maddison, Hoganson, Campbell, Hooper.
The East Stand at St James’s Park will be open tonight. Entry is £3 for adults, and £1 for concessions.