Lowe allows Redknapp time to decide future

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The Independent Football

The Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe yesterday offered the club's manager Harry Redknapp extra time to decide whether his future lies at St Mary's.

The Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe yesterday offered the club's manager Harry Redknapp extra time to decide whether his future lies at St Mary's.

It was thought that Lowe had wanted an answer from Redknapp by the middle of this week but, while he recognised the need for positive leadership as Saints regroup following relegation, the chairman is now leaning towards patience.

Lowe appears to be working on the basis that no news could still be good news, with Redknapp having not yet given up on the club relegated after Sunday's defeat by Manchester United.

"You would desirably want an answer quickly," Lowe admitted, "because there is planning to be done and we need to know if we are going to have Harry's experience and wisdom. I've told him we do."

However, Lowe is wary of rushing the former West Ham and Portsmouth manager into a snap verdict. "We don't want it to be a decision made in haste and repented at leisure," he said.

"I've always tried to support the managers I've worked with and the first thing is for Harry to make his decision and for him and I to sit down and make our plans."

Lowe added that he was optimistic about keeping the England new boy Peter Crouch, a £2m buy from Aston Villa at the start of the season, whose absence through suspension last weekend may have been instrumental in the Saints' downfall. "I think he's the kind of guy who will want to stay and put things right," Lowe said.

Norwich, relegated along with Southampton, are fearful of losing their striker Mathias Svensson, who told a newspaper in his native Sweden: "I have got one year left on my contract - and additionally I have got a clause saying that I can leave cheaply now that we have been relegated. It's too early to talk about it. I will have a vacation first."

Yesterday, he clarified that statement, saying, "What I said is a fact, but that doesn't mean I want to leave this club."

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