Redknapp blasts O'Hara for wanting Tottenham out of FA Cup

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The Independent Online

Harry Redknapp sent a stern reminder to Jamie O'Hara that his ultimate loyalties lie with Tottenham after the midfielder admitted he wants Fulham to knock Spurs out of the FA Cup.

O'Hara is a lifelong Tottenham fan but he is on loan at Portsmouth, who will face the winners of tomorrow night's replay in a Wembley semi-final.

But the 23-year-old would not be eligible to play against Tottenham and he said: "It is a weird one because for the first time in my life I will be hoping Spurs lose. I want to play at Wembley."

Redknapp understands O'Hara's predicament but thinks he was wrong to back Fulham when he will be returning to play for Tottenham next year.

"Jamie shouldn't say that, really. I understand where he is coming from. I think he just wants to play at Wembley," said Redknapp.

"But this is his club, he is a Tottenham player and he will be back here next year.

"He has got to be careful what he says because this is his club and the fans love him here.

"He has done a great job for Portsmouth and I am delighted how well he has done for them. I have so much time for Jamie.

"He obviously wants to go to Wembley and play, so it is difficult.

"He had the disappointment in the league cup final of being left out of the team when Tottenham played Chelsea. He is obviously desperate to get there this year."

If O'Hara does return to White Hart Lane next season he will find increased competition for central midfield places after Spurs reached an agreement to sign the Brazilian Sandro from Internacional.

Redknapp would also like to extend Eidur Gudjohnsen's stay at the club beyond his current season-long loan deal.

"He is a terrific footballer and a good lad as well. We will have a chat with Eidur before the end of the season," said Redknapp.

"I think he has enjoyed it here. He has got his appetite back."

Gudjohnsen is set to start against Fulham tomorrow night after Roman Pavlyuchenko injured his hamstring while Wilson Palacios returns in midfield after being rested for the win at Stoke.

Redknapp knows just how tough a challenge Spurs will face tomorrow night, having been at Craven Cottage when Fulham staged a stunning comeback to knock Juventus out of the Europa League.

"I was fortunate enough to be there. It was one of the great European performances of all time," said Redknapp.

"It was a fantastic night, a great atmosphere and a great performance from Fulham.

"Roy Hodgson has done a terrific job. He is a terrific guy who knows the game inside out and he has been a terrific signing for Fulham.

"He has built a very good team there and it will be mighty tough for us."

Redknapp views Tottenham's FA Cup ambitions on a par with their push for Champions League qualification.

"We are trying on two fronts. Every game is important for us and we have some tough games," said Redknapp.

While Tottenham are on FA Cup duty, Manchester City tackle Everton with the chance of reclaiming fourth place in the Premier League.

Tottenham's run-in includes games against the top three but Redknapp expects the race to join Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the Champions League will go right to the wire.

"I wouldn't write anybody off. I wouldn't write Aston Villa off and I certainly wouldn't write Liverpool off. I think they have got a great chance. I look at their fixtures yesterday and they have good fixtures," he said.

"Anyone could finish fourth and anyone could finish seventh. It will be that close. We are right in the mix. I think it will be a great finish to the season.

"We have some tough games. We have Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal to play. We have to go to Sunderland and Manchester City.

"We certainly have the toughest fixtures but we are playing well and we have got to keep that going."

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