Taylor: Harry remarks 'mischievous'
6:12pm Monday 23rd June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Harry Redknapp's comments on players asking to be excused from international duty were "mischievous" and an unwanted "grenade", according to Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor.
Redknapp's claim that English players asked him to pull them out of national games while he was Tottenham manager has added to the blame games being played in the wake of the Three Lions' World Cup exit.
Captain Steven Gerrard has told Redknapp to name the culprits, but the 67-year-old has refused.
For Taylor, the issue is one England do not need as the pieces of their loss to Uruguay are picked up and he feels Redknapp's comments could have been avoided.
"I know Harry, I admire Harry, and I don't know in what context he's said it, I'm perfectly happy to talk to him about it, he's a football man and it may have come from one particular player for some special reason," he told Sky Sports News.
"It's a little bit mischievous to throw out grenades like that at the end of a World Cup disappointment. I think we all have to get focused and move on."
Taylor insists he does not know of any players to have asked not to be picked for duty and believes omissions are often the fault of club managers.
"I don't know of any youngsters who have done that. I do know at times there is pressure from managers for players not to go because they've got big games," he added.
"They were saying that players were injured - this came from the manager not the player - and this is one of the reasons they (players) have to turn up for England and be examined by the doctor because I can tell you, far from it being the players, there have been more players pulled out of England by managers rather than by the players themselves."
And Taylor reckons playing for their country still matters to players.
"I don't think it helps to stir up such things at this time now when everybody is disappointed that we are no longer at the World Cup party," he said.
"I think that we should be focusing on getting a team out there and salvaging some pride against Costa Rica. But it's what makes the world go round. I do feel it's unfortunate but I think most people in the game or any player in the game would say any chance to play for England, they'd carry their bags around the world.
"It's a manager knowing his players and I would say with Roy Hodgson, in fact virtually every manager I know, they know who'll go through brick walls for them and who won't."
One of England's most-capped players of all-time, Frank Lampard, was asked about the claims ahead of the World Cup clash with Costa Rica.
The 36-year-old midfielder will win his 106th cap in the Three Lions' final Group D match in Belo Horizonte and is the nephew of Redknapp.
"I certainly don't know any of the present," Lampard said. "If there are individuals who feel like that, then I'm sure their England careers are nothing to write home about in the end.
"It should be the pinnacle of your career and you can sacrifice going away for two days, five days, four weeks or six weeks because you want to be at home or on holiday with your mates because then it wouldn't be the right attitude.
"I have never heard of it and I think if it was true - and I am sure Harry isn't telling lies - it would be very, very irregular and there would be very few players that think that way."