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Redknapp: I deserve cheers not jeers at Portsmouth

Redknapp: I deserve cheers not jeers at Portsmouth

Harry Redknapp wants cheers not jeers when he leads Tottenham at Portsmouth on Saturday for the first time since he moved between the Premier League rivals a year ago.
Redknapp guided Portsmouth to its first major trophy in 58 years but the manager's signing of high-profile players on big salaries has been blamed by some Pompey fans for the financial problems that have led to an overhaul of the squad and two changes of ownership in less than two months.
Although Spurs are unlikely to close the three-point gap on defending champion Manchester United, which is in second place ahead its home game with Bolton on Saturday, the game is crucial to both teams.
Portsmouth is now last in the Premier League with just three points, 13 fewer than Tottenham, which is aiming to consolidate its early hold on a top-four berth.
But Redknapp dismisses suggestions he contributed to Portsmouth's predicament.
"People who have got any sense look at what I did for that football club," Redknapp said. "I took them from the bottom of the Championship to winning the Championship and becoming a top-seven, top-eight Premier League club, winning the FA Cup.
"If people are stupid enough to shout abuse they need their heads looking at, in my opinion."
The teams already have a recent history of tension.
Several players moved between the teams over the past three years, and some Tottenham fans were charged with directing homophobic and racist abuse at former Spurs defender Sol Campbell when he was at Portsmouth last season.
Tottenham has hit five goals four times already this season and striker Peter Crouch scored twice for England on Wednesday, and its defense could be strengthened by the return to fitness of Jonathan Woodgate, who has recovered after injuring his groin in preseason.
With captain Ledley King and Michael Dawson also fit, Redknapp could play three central defenders or even rest Sebastien Song, who played alongside midfielder Tom Huddlestone in the last two matches.
"Jonathan training again is great news for us," Redknapp said. "It looks like Ledley will be OK as well, so that gives us options and that's what we need.
"Suddenly, we've three more fantastic center-halves available. That makes us stronger."
Manchester United has mostly been unimpressive so far this season but is receiving key players back from international duty in good form.
Dimitar Berbatov hit a hat trick in Bulgaria's 6-2 win over Georgia on Wednesday, when Nani scored the first goal in Portugal's 4-0 win over Malta and goalkeeper Ben Foster looked to have regained some confidence with a strong performance in England's 3-0 win over Belarus.
United is two points behind Chelsea after needing to equalize twice to draw 2-2 with Sunderland in its last match.
Chelsea is set to recall fit-again goalkeeper Petr Cech for its visit to Aston Villa, which has stuttered to a draw and a loss following a six-match winning streak in all competitions.
Key to Villa's chances is how a defense of Carlos Cuellar, Richard Dunne, James Collins and Stephen Warnock deals with Chelsea's in-form strikers, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
"A lot of people suggested they couldn't play together, but they are in great form as a partnership now," Cuellar said. "They have good understanding and they are both scoring goals.
"But we must not underestimate ourselves in all this. We have been solid and strong defensively."
Also Saturday, Arsenal hosts Birmingham, Everton hosts Wolves, Liverpool is at Sunderland and West Ham is at Stoke. On Sunday, Blackburn hosts Burnley and Wigan hosts Manchester City, while Hull is at Fulham a day later.
Newcastle seeks to maintain its three-point lead at the top of the second-tier League Championship when it plays at Scunthorpe on Saturday, when second-place West Bromwich Albion hosts Swansea.


Updated : 2021-10-20 19:14 GMT+08:00