Harry Redknapp refuses to name England shirkers
Harry Redknapp has refused Steven Gerrard's demand to name and shame the ex-Tottenham stars the Premier League boss claims skipped England duty.
Redknapp, now manager of QPR, claimed some English players asked him to pull them out of national games when he was in charge at White Hart Lane.
England captain Gerrard believes anyone who dodges international duty is wrong and he called on Redknapp to name the players in question.
It is not something Redknapp, who was Spurs boss from 2008-2012, is about to do.
Redknapp told Sportsmail: "I understand Steven's concern but I don't want to get into naming names because it wouldn't be fair to the players.
"Every Premier League manager past and present knows what I'm talking about.
"Probably even Roy Hodgson. But sadly this attitude is not unusual these days.
"You've only got to look at how many players pull out of an international game on Tuesday and Wednesday then are running about for their clubs the next Saturday to see that this is a very real issue."
Redknapp stunned members of the England camp in Brazil on Sunday with his comments.
"When I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England," the QPR boss told BBC Radio Five's Sportsweek programme.
"They would come to me 10 days before the game and say, 'Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don't want to play in that game'.
"I'd say, 'you're playing for your country, you should want to play'.
"(They would say) 'Nah, my girlfriend is having a baby in four weeks, I don't want to play' and that is the truth, so it makes you wonder."
The claim will not have gone down well with the long list of Spurs players who represented England from 2008-2012.
In fact, Gerrard said he has spoken to one ex-Spurs player, who was "devastated" by Redknapp's comments.
"I don't know who he means. Is it five years ago? 10 years ago? We need names," Gerrard told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
"If it's the case, it's disgusting."
England may have just experienced their fastest World Cup exit in history, but Gerrard insists a lack of desire and effort was not the reason why.
"I can guarantee that is not the case here," Gerrard said.
"Nobody here wants to go home."
England manager Roy Hodgson also denied there was any lack of desire within the 23-man party that flopped in Brazil.
He said: "In the two years I've been here, I've seen a greater interest in playing for England, so Harry's comments come as a bit of a surprise."
Hodgson's focus over the next 48 hours will be on salvaging some pride following successive World Cup defeats.
The England manager will not be sacked even if his men lose to Costa Rica in their final group game on Tuesday.
Speaking for the first time since England's exit was confirmed, Hodgson insisted he was still the right man for the job.
"There's no reason for me to have any serious doubts about the work I've done over the years and the qualities I bring to the team," Hodgson said.
"I have the backing of the team and the FA and I feel I am the right man to continue."
Hodgson will make several changes for the game against Costa Rica.
It is understood that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not play though as he has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.
Luke Shaw is likely to make his first World Cup appearance as Leighton Baines is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Former England manager Graham Taylor joined the debate telling BBC Radio 5 Live: "As much as we blame players, they are put under pressure - sometimes by their club managers.
"The World Cup final is the pinnacle - I have no doubt about that, but the World Cup is only every four years.
"The Premier League and the Champions League are every year. There's bags of money - therefore club football rules the roost."