Redknapp warns Lowe on meddling

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The Independent Online

Harry Redknapp warned the Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe yesterday that he will not tolerate any interference in his bid to lift the Saints out of relegation trouble.

Harry Redknapp warned the Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe yesterday that he will not tolerate any interference in his bid to lift the Saints out of relegation trouble.

Just over two weeks ago Redknapp walked out on their rivals Portsmouth, disenchanted by the owner Milan Mandaric's appointment of Velimir Zajec as executive director. Lowe has a reputation for influencing team matters and has survived seven managers in eight years - but Redknapp has made it clear he will do things his way.

He has already raided Pompey for coach Kevin Bond and also hopes to bring in his former assistant manager Jim Smith - and he is ready to lay down the law to Lowe.

"I'll talk to him about football. I'll talk to anybody about football but the minute you let chairmen sign players you've got trouble," Redknapp said. "It is his club and he seems a nice man but how is he going to poke his nose in? I can't see it. He knows I'm the manager and he knows the job I have to do. I'll buy my own players, make my own decisions - good or bad - and he must then get on with it.

"Once I've identified the ones I want it is up to him to deal with them and see if he can afford them. If not, then we move on to the next one."

Redknapp is planning changes to his backroom staff and his tried and trusted partnership with Smith appears certain to continue at St Mary's.

"I'll be talking to Jim again and we'll see if we can find a position for him," said Redknapp who will, at least for now, also retain the services of Saints coaches Dennis Rofe and Christian Damiano.

"But everything is on hold while we focus on getting away from the bottom of the table - and that means three points to start with against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

"It is a tough one because they are flying at the moment and I've already tipped them to finish in the top six."

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