Redknapp wants Pavlyuchenko to prove worth

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The Independent Football

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has told Roman Pavlyuchenko to prove he is worth a regular starting place when he features in tonight's Carling Cup clash against Everton.

Pavlyuchenko has fallen behind Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch in the pecking order at White Hart Lane and is no longer an automatic choice for his country, leading to Russia coach Guus Hiddink visiting Redknapp last week to discuss the striker.

The 27-year-old, a £13.8m signing last season, will start in the fourth-round clash against David Moyes' men as Defoe is suspended and Crouch is carrying a slight knock.

Redknapp said: "I'm looking for a big performance from him. A performance that says 'you can't leave me out the team now'.

"Guus Hiddink was here on Friday and we spoke about Pav, how he is, how you get him going. He had the same opinion as me, really.

He said something he shouts at him, sometimes he's nice to him, sometimes he doesn't speak to him at all, sometimes he talks to him. And he's tried all those things.

"He's a very laid back guy, Pav, but he's got good ability. We both feel he's technically such a good player. But he just needs to be a bit more aggressive."

Redknapp expects interest in Pavlyuchenko in January if the striker is not playing regularly.

"He's a player on the world stage. He's a World Cup player. So you'll always have interest, particularly in goalscorers," he said.

"Italian or Spanish teams would want him. Four strikers can be a problem. In all honesty, I'd rather have three good strikers.

"People say you can't have too many, but it can be a problem when you're talking about top-class players who want to play every week and in the World Cup for their countries.

"We have two who aren't playing every week. It is a problem."

Meanwhile, Redknapp is expected to travel to Brazil before the transfer window opens to look at Internacional defensive-midfielder Sandro.

Redknapp only has Wilson Palacios, Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas as central midfielders and views the 20-year-old, who made his Brazil debut earlier in the season, as a possibility to provide competition.

"We've only got three central midfield players," Redknapp said.

"Jamie O'Hara went, Kevin-Price Boateng went, Didier Zokora went. Suddenly we're very, very short in there. Jermaine Jenas is on four bookings, Palacios on three.

"So I'm looking for someone else who can play in midfield here. We've been looking at Sandro. He's just breaking into the Brazilian team from the Under-21s. He can play - he's a modern day midfield player.

"I'd like to go and have a look myself as well and, if we do decide to do anything, it'll be up to the chairman to push it on from there.