Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce has refused to rule himself out of the running for Steve McClaren's England job.

Allardyce is the leading English contender with the bookies, with McClaren certain to be given the boot if his side fail to qualify for Euro 2008. Allardyce missed out to McClaren 16 months ago but was pressed yesterday on his international ambitions.

Asked if he was ruling himself out of the running, Allardyce said: "I am not saying anything like that.

"There is a man in the job, he is a good friend of mine and I won't speculate as to whether I would or I wouldn't do anything. Steve should be left to finish what he is doing."

Asked if it is on his long term radar, Allardyce added: "You don't know what happens or when it might come about.

"This is the biggest club as an English manager I could have got. The only job that might have been bigger than that is a job as national coach."