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FA won't rush to replace Capello before Euro 2012

Updated: February 09, 2012, 07:35

English Football Association chairman David Bernstein talks to the media at Wembley Stadium in London after the resignation of England soccer manager Fabio Capello, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. The English Football Association has appointed Stuart Pearce as the interim coach of the England team following Fabio Capello's resignation. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

WEMBLEY, England(AP) The English Football Association will not rush to hire Fabio Capello's successor ahead of this year's European Championship.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is the favorite to replace Capello, who quit Wednesday after FA Chairman David Bernstein stripped John Terry of the England captaincy despite his opposition.

"There is clearly a preference for an Englishman,'' Bernstein said of the opening. "There is a preference for an English person or a British person, but in the end we want the best person. Clearly an English or a British person would have a good start of the matter.''

England players Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney have already called on the FA to hire Redknapp.

"We can't be driven by that,'' Bernstein said. "We have to put a proper shortlist together.''

England under-21 coach Stuart Pearce will take charge of England's friendly against the Netherlands on Feb. 29. England's Euro 2012 opener is on June 11 against France.

"Everyone's focus is on Euro 2012 and our objective is to recruit a manager and go to Poland and Ukraine, perform well and achieve success,'' said Adrian Bevington, the managing director of the team.

The London-born Redknapp, who has led Tottenham into third place in this season's Premier League, has long spoken of his belief that the next England coach should be English and also that the job is the pinnacle for any Englishman.

However, he has also said that he would personally miss the daily interaction with players that comes with working for a club.

"I think we're jumping the gun a little bit here,'' Keith Mills, a non-executive director at Tottenham, told BBC Radio. "Whether Harry will be approached is not a foregone conclusion. If he is, then Harry has got a big decision to make.''

Even Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in on the issue, saying he was "sorry to see Fabio go.''

"I think he was a good coach and a good man. I don't think he was right about the John Terry issue. You can't be captain with that question mark that needs to be answered,'' Cameron said during a visit to Sweden, adding that he would not comment on possible successors. "The day when the Prime Minister picks the England coach will be a very bad day for football but I am sure we will find someone really good and I am sure that we will play well when the time comes.''

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