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Portsmouth falls in Redknapp return

But boss feels side\'s spirit shows Pompey can avoid being relegated

Portsmouth falls in Redknapp return

Harry Redknapp was confident the spirit shown by his Portsmouth side in its 3-1 loss to Tottenham could save the south coast side from relegation from the English Premiership.

There was no fairytale return to the reins of Portsmouth for Redknapp, the former Bournemouth and West Ham manager who resigned from Southampton last weekend to rejoin Pompey, a club he left a little more than a year ago.

Redknapp could only look on in frustration as his side was largely outplayed at White Hart Lane and crashed to a fifth successive loss that left it rooted second from bottom in the Premiership.

Plenty of grit

Portsmouth is now six points behind 17th-placed West Brom, but on the plus side, the club showed plenty of grit and defended well, although the lack of attacking options was displayed in the deployment of Vincent Pericard as a lone striker.

It was the former France under-21 international's first Premiership start of the season and it showed, his inability to hold up the ball heaping pressure on his overstretched defense.

Two goals in the final five minutes from Tottenham's Ahmed Mido - with a penalty - and Jermaine Defoe secured the London club's win.

Portsmouth took an early lead through a stunning speculative volley by Tresor Lomana Lua Lua before Spurs equalized after the break through captain Ledley King.

"It was a scandalous decision and it cost us the game," Redknapp said of the controversial penalty that came in the 85th minute.

Referee Uriah Rennie ruled, somewhat harshly, that Gary O'Neil had used his arm to parry an Andy Reid free-kick, and awarded a penalty that Mido put away.

"The players didn't deserve that because their attitude was first class," Redknapp told BBC.

"If we work as hard as that, we've got a chance of staying up, but we need a win against West Brom on Saturday."

It was a third successive victory for Tottenham that sees them sitting pretty in fourth place in the table, a point below Manchester United and Liverpool, which both have a game in hand.

"They defended well," said Tottenham coach Martin Jol. "But we deserved to win."

Man-of-the-match Edgar Davids said the Spurs side had never doubted their ability to claw back Lua Lua's thunderbolt.

"We had to be aware of the counter-attack... but we knew what we had to do," the Dutch international said. "We were playing well and we were 1-0 down but we knew the goals would come."

Updated : 2021-08-06 01:12 GMT+08:00