Glenn Hoddle last night expressed his ''shock and disappointment'' at losing his job as manager of Tottenham - but pledged to bounce back and return to football ''at the highest level''.

Hoddle was sacked over the telephone by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy on Sunday night in response to the team taking four points from the first six games of the season.

Former Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson was quick to throw his hat into the ring to replace his former England teammate at White Hart Lane.

"I would have to be interested in managing a club like Tottenham - it's a big club with some great players,'' he said.

It is the first time Hoddle has lost a managerial job because of ''football reasons'', and he admitted he was surprised the decision was taken so early in the season.

''I am shocked and disappointed to have parted company with Tottenham over the weekend only six matches into the new season,'' Hoddle confessed.

''This is the first time in my managerial career it has happened to me for football reasons.

''I have been a dedicated professional and also a life-long Spurs fan, and no one could have tried harder to turn things round for the club.

''I have built a great squad that when fully fit can go on to do very well this season. I feel sure this turning point will happen very soon.''

Hoddle, who plans to take some time out to spend with his family, thanked supporters and staff of the club who stood by him - and promised this is not the end of his coaching career.

''I particularly want to thank the Spurs fans who have shown me great support and loyalty from the beginning right to the end,'' added Hoddle.

''I really wanted to return Spurs to the glory days for the fans.

''However, I wish the players and the club every success for the future.

''I am now going to take stock and put in some quality time with my family who have also stood by me during this difficult period.

''When the time is right I look forward to continuing my managerial career at the highest level.''

Director of football David Pleat has been installed as caretaker manager while Spurs search for Hoddle's successor.

The favourites for the job are former Barcelona manager Raddy Antic, a close friend of Pleat, and Celtic boss Martin O'Neill.

Portsmouth chief Harry Redknapp is also in the frame - along with Robson, Blackburn's Graeme Souness, Alan Curbishley of Charlton and Rangers' Alex McLeish. One surprise candidate is another former fans' favourite David Ginola.

The Frenchman - who spent three years as a player at White Hart Lane, helping the club to lift the Worthington Cup - said: ''The club is in my heart. I am Tottenham and I believe I can be the perfect ambassador for them.

''I know the structure of the club and I know I could attract the best players. Some players don't sign for a club because they don't want to work for the manager, so if these players know me they know I will want to be successful and have a good time along the way.''

Pleat insists Spurs must not dwell on Hoddle's sacking but must instead focus on the immediate challenge of making progress in the Carling Cup.

''We will all focus our minds on the immediate future,'' said Pleat, who will be in charge for league cup trip to Coventry tomorrow night. ''There is no future in the past - that is sad, but true.'