Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is happy to stay at the club despite England links.
Pardew is one of the leading candidates to replace Sam Allardyce as England boss, but he was keen to distance himself from the job at his press conference on Thursday lunchtime ahead of Friday’s game at Everton.
He also gave his backing to former Palace midfielder Gareth Southgate, who has taken over as England boss for the next four games after stepping up from his job with the U21 team.
“This club is where I want to be,” said Pardew. “We’re onto a good thing with the owners, and the structure, and the team, and I feel like something special can happen here. So I don’t want to leave.
“This is where I want to be right now. The fans have been terrific with me, it’s a special place for me because I played here. It’s too good to leave.
“England have got a good manager now in Gareth Southgate for the next four games at least. Gareth has been through the system at the FA.
“I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for him, I played with him, he’s got a bit of X Factor about him and I think he’ll do well for England.”
Pardew did admit, though, that managing England is the “pinnacle of an Englishman’s career” – echoing the sentiments of Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe earlier in the day – as he sympathised with Allardyce’s plight.
“Tremendous sympathy that Sam has lost his job, it was a dream job for him – the pinnacle of your career as an England manager, as Eddie Howe said this morning,” said Pardew.
The 55-year-old also said he was proud to be linked with the job, but again stressed that his focus is on Palace.
“Of course I’m privileged and proud to be in that small group that is going to be linked with it, that I’m not going to shy away from,” he added.
“The other part is the focus I have to do here and return their loyalty to me, that won’t shake, I won’t let that happen to me.”