LONDON: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson thinks that the FA’s delay in chasing down a new England manager could generate damaging speculation for Tottenham’s season.

Spurs’ Harry Redknapp is a clear favourite though the FA general secretary Alex Horne has signalled that no decision on a successor to Fabio Capello will be made until much closer to the summer’s Euro 2012 finals.

General opinion is that a number of issues around the midweek friendly defeat by Holland raised too many doubts about the suitability at this stage of under-21s’ boss Stuart Pearce for the main job.

Horne had noted that various candidates were in employment, making any approach a delicate issue. At a time when the mood is in favour of an English appointment, this points to consideration of not only Redknapp but also Fulham’s Roy Hodgson – who has tournament finals experience in both the World Cup and European Championship – and Newcastle’s Alan Pardew.

The FA must also define its own preferred strategy: there is a division of opinion between wanting an ‘instant’ answer and appointing a man who can inform the national team structure’s evolution with the 2014 and 2018 World Cup finals in mind.

Ferguson said: “The people who will be more concerned are the Tottenham directors. I am sure they will be wondering what the next step is. I don’t think they can dismiss the eventuality of the FA making contact.

“When I said I was going to retire it definitely had an effect on the dressing room. This is a little bit different because it is only speculation. Harry has not made any statement saying he wants the England job although I think the general feeling is he would relish it.”

Tottenham, of course, face United on Sunday in the Premier League.