Harry Redknapp quashes Tottenham slump talk
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has strongly denied suggestions that his link to the England job has contributed to his side's recent downturn in form.
Since Fabio Capello resigned as England boss on 8 February, Spurs have won just one of their five Premier League games.
But Redknapp, favourite for the national team post, said: "Absolute nonsense, that is the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard in my life.
"The players don't care whether I'm the manager next year."
In their first match after Capello left his position, Tottenham thrashed Newcastle 5-0 to maintain their 10-point lead over fourth-place Arsenal.
But as speculation that Redknapp is set to replace the Italian has increased, Spurs have gone off the boil.
In the meantime, Arsenal have won all four of their games to move a point above their north London rivals.
After the Stoke match, Redknapp admitted his side had lost their way but he insists this has nothing to do with the England rumours.
"The players wouldn't lose any sleep over that," he stated. "That's football. Footballers are footballers.
"They play the game, they come in every day and train, somebody else walks in here tomorrow, the king is dead long live the king.
"They don't worry 'Harry's going to England' or 'he's going to go somewhere else'. They don't think about that, I don't think about it.
"It never enters my mind. I don't think what's going to happen to me at the end of the season. Whatever happens to me happens to me.
"I don't lose any sleep over it one way or the other - whether I'm here, somewhere else or nowhere. That's life.
Tottenham face a Chelsea side who are also in the hunt for a top-four finish and find themselves five points behind Redknapp's men.
Spurs have not won at Stamford Bridge since a 2-1 league victory in February 1990.
"It's a big game for us, for sure," Redknapp added. "We've got a lead over Chelsea but we've got to maintain that lead.
"It's going to be tight until the end of the season. The Champions League places are all up for grabs.
"Arsenal have been on an incredible run of winning games and we've struggled to pick up results in the last few weeks.
"There are nine games to go, a lot of points to play for and there will be lots of twists and turns before the end of the season."