Harry: King has England future
26 Mar 2009 - 08:16:51
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has rejected suggestions that he doesn't want Ledley King to play international football after claiming he will drive the defender to South Africa should England qualify for the World Cup.
Redknapp has been at loggerheads with the Football Association and England coach Fabio Capello this week after King was called up to the squad for the forthcoming games against Slovakia and Ukraine.
The Spurs skipper reported for duty on Tuesday before being sent home only hours later when the England medical staff agreed with Redknapp's previous assessment that King was unfit.
The 28-year-old suffers from a chronic knee problem which prevents him from playing successive games in a short space of time.
But Redknapp claims suggestions that he doesn't want King to play for England are nonsense and says he fully supports his skipper's international aspirations.
"Ledley King should play for England and should be at the World Cup," Redknapp sid in The Sun.
"It wasn't me who sent him home on the first day of training when the squad met on Tuesday.
"That decision was taken by the England medical staff after taking one look at his knee and finally realising the full situation.
"I'm relieved they have seen sense and accepted what the doctors, medics and myself here at Tottenham have been saying all along.
"I would love to see him play for England. I would love to see him playing for England at the World Cup finals.
"No one deserves it more than him and no one would like to see it more than me. If England want him in the summer, great.
"If England get to the World Cup finals in 2010 and play in June, one game every week, fantastic. I will even drive Ledley to South Africa myself."
Meanwhile, Redknapp has hit out at a lack of communication between the FA and Spurs following King's surprise call-up.
"I had the Spurs physios on the phone to me on Sunday night, panicking, when he was picked for the squad," he continued.
"They know Ledley simply cannot play two games in a week. It is touch and go whether he can play every Saturday.
"They are dedicated to nursing Ledley along. And, as a result, this season we hope to get more than 30 games out of him.
"Last season he played four. So I guess we must be doing something right at Tottenham.
"Ledley is a constant risk. That's how it is. He could overdo it with England and then with Spurs and in eight months' time be on the scrapheap and who would remember him then?
"I am trying to do what's best for him."
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