Sir Clive Woodward could have been a football success – Harry Redknapp
QPR's Harry Redknapp says Sir Clive Woodward could have been a success in football if he had been given a longer stint at St Mary's
Harry Redknapp believes Sir Clive Woodward could have successfully made the transition from rugby to football if England’s World Cup-winning head coach had been given a longer stint at Southampton.
The Queens Park Rangers manager worked with Woodward during his short one-year reign at Southampton, with their working relationship brought to a premature end when Redknapp returned to former club Portsmouth.
Woodward, currently the BOA’s director of elite performance, arrived at the Saints in July 2005 after the south coast club had been relegated to
the Championship despite Redknapp’s best efforts to beat the drop.
The 57-year-old, who led England’s rugby team to the World Cup crown in 2003, was appointed as technical director but somewhat unwisely stated his long-term ambition was to become Saints manager, prompting reports of friction between him and Redknapp.
He left the Saints in August 2006 but Redknapp was impressed by Woodward’s approach and felt he could have been a success in football.
“I enjoyed that [working with Woodward]. I got on well with Clive. I never had a problem,” said Redknapp.
“Looking back on it, he had some good ideas. Obviously he was one of the greatest rugby coaches of all-time.
“He knew everything about fitness. He really had an awful lot to offer. He wanted to learn about football.
“If he had stayed in and worked with a good young coach with his ideas, in terms of preparation etc, I’m sure he could have done very well.
“If you look at the amount of top managers who have never played football… and he’s been a great sportsman!
“I’m talking about people who’ve never played sport and there’s quite a few around. I’m sure he could have been a success if he stayed in with the right people around.”