Redknapp: I needed time away from game
Harry Redknapp admitted he needed a break from football after capping the craziest year of his life by taking the QPR job.
Redknapp returned from his five-and-a-half month exile charged with masterminding another great escape from relegation, and succeeding in what he admitted was the "toughest" assignment of his managerial career should be child's play compared to the stress of beating charges of a far more serious nature back in February. Then, Redknapp was fighting for his very freedom in a tax evasion trial which ultimately saw him cleared.
The footballing disappointments which followed - being snubbed for the England job and sacked by Tottenham - simply compounded what had been an emotionally exhausting first half of 2012 for the 65-year-old. Asked if it had been the craziest year of his life, he said: "Yeah, oh yeah. Certainly. The whole thing was a bit bizarre, wasn't it?"
He continued: "I probably needed a break. Maybe it wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to me."
Neither was losing out to Roy Hodgson for the England job or being sacked by Spurs, according to Redknapp.
"I didn't go home that night when I heard on the radio that Roy had been given the England job and lock myself up in a room," he said. "I didn't go away from Tottenham that night when Daniel Levy sacked me and want to jump off the edge of Bournemouth Pier. The next day I am up playing golf. I mean, what can I do? That is the way that I am."
Redknapp could have escaped by taking the Ukraine job he was offered, something he insisted he was hours away from doing before QPR intervened. Revealing he would still have been based mainly in the UK, he joked: "You can't say, 'Oh, it doesn't matter if we don't win today'. I would have been sent down the salt mines!"
Redknapp was coy about whether Rangers would be his last job, but insisted he was in it for the long haul.
"I am not just coming to firefight," he said. "I want to build a team here so they are not in this trouble again. You look at the clubs who are doing okay. Take West Brom. They have had three or four years of building and are now looking to put a team together.
"You can't just throw a group of players together and say, 'Here's a team'. It just doesn't work that way. You want to do that here, put a team together that will complement each other and build a team spirit that can go on and finish halfway up the table in the future."