'Two jobs' Redknapp open to extending Jordan spell

Reuters , Monday 28 Mar 2016

Two jobs
Football Soccer - Australia news conference - Sydney, Australia - 28/3/16 Jordan coach Harry Redknapp speaks during a media conference ahead of their World Cup 2018 Qualifier against Australia. (Reuters)

Harry Redknapp's opportunity to coach at an international level has not come the way he once hoped it might, but the Englishman is having a ball and open to extending his spell with Jordan beyond Tuesday's crunch World Cup qualifier with Australia.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United manager was overwhelming favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager in 2012, only to be ultimately overlooked in favour of Roy Hodgson.

On Tuesday, though, he will conclude a two-match cameo as an international coach when he leads Jordan out to face Australia in a match they must win to be certain of progressing to the next round of Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Redknapp said that while he was also committed to his post as an advisor to Derby County until the end of the English season, he would consider extending the role if asked.

"I've really enjoyed it, the people have just been fantastic," Redknapp told reporters on Monday.

"All the staff and everybody, they're the friendliest people I've dealt with, it's been a great experience for me, it really has.

"So if there was something in the future, I'd look at it, for sure."

Redknapp's first game in charge was an 8-0 thrashing of Bangladesh in Amman on Thursday but the 69-year-old knows that Asian champions Australia will present an altogether tougher challenge.

"They are a threat, the fullbacks get forward, the boy (Brad) Smith I think is going to be a big player for Liverpool in the future, they've got a bit of pace in their team, they're a dangerous team, a good team, there's no doubt about that at all," he said.

While also picking out the potential threat of Tim Cahill - "as good as anyone I've seen of arriving and finding space in the box" - Redknapp said there was also quality in the Jordan squad.

"When I came over, I had absolutely no idea about Jordan football, or how good they were," he added.

"I've been really, really surprised at the standard, it's much, much higher than I ever expected.

"So, yeah, we are underdogs, but we're underdogs with a real fighting chance."

Jordan, two points behind Australia in Group B, could still get through to the third round of Asian qualifying with a draw if other results go their way.

Whatever happens, striker Hamzeh Aldardour would like Redknapp to stick around.

"We have learned so many things," the Jordan captain said.

"It has been an honour and privilege working with him and we hope he can prolong his management of the team."

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