Harry Redknapp last night insisted that he will resist any temptation to lure Ruud van Nistelrooy back to the Premier League and is in no rush to sell Roman Pavlyuchenko back to Spartak Moscow to make room for him. The way his quartet of strikers are working following the demolition of Doncaster in the Carling Cup, he would be stupid to rock the boat at White Hart Lane.
Spartak are willing to pay £10m for the striker they sold to Spurs for £13.8m last summer and may well have had representatives at the Keepmoat Stadium last night as Pavlyuchenko scored one of the goals as the visitors set out on what they hope will be a third visit to Wembley in the competition in as many years. Peter Crouch also made the most of his first start with a debut goal as Jermain Defoe was given the night off on the substitutes' bench.
The Spartak general director, Valery Karpin, has admitted he wants Pavlyuchenko to return but not for the same money they sold him for because "that would be absurd", yet Redknapp made it clear he has no plans to sell after talks with Pavlyuchenko and his representatives on Tuesday. "I had a meeting with him and his people and it was perfectly amicable," the Tottenham manager said. "They have said that they do not want him to leave and he has said that he does not want to leave. I would like to keep him."
Tom Huddlestone and Jamie O'Hara scored inside the opening 11 minutes after goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had made two excellent saves to deny Doncaster. From then it was plain sailing for Spurs, with David Bentley also making the most of his first start since his arrest for drink-driving earlier this month.
He supplied the pass for O'Hara, struck the corner for Crouch's header and supplied a crisp finish to Giovanni dos Santos's cross. If there were any potential suitors for Bentley in attendance last night he will have done his prospects of a move little harm. The only blemish on Spurs' second five-goal haul in three away games was Kevin Prince-Boateng's handball that enabled Martin Woods to finally beat Cudicini from the penalty spot in the 61st minute, but it was of little consequence to Redknapp.
Doncaster (4-4-2): Smith; Roberts, Chambers, Lockwood (Webster, h-t), Hird; Stock (Fairhurst, 59), Woods, Oster (Fortune, 59), Spicer; Guy, Hayter. Substitutes not used: Wilson, Shiels, Sullivan (gk), Heffernan.
Tottenham (4-4-2): Cudicini (Button, 82); Naughton, Bassong (Boateng, 59), Corluka, Hutton; Bentley, Huddlestone (Rose, 72), O'Hara, Giovani; Pavlyuchenko, Crouch. Substitutes not used: Lennon, Palacios, Defoe.
Referee: R Booth (Nottinghamshire).Reuse content