Wolverhampton 0 Southampton 0: Redknapp deflects the Pompey talk

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp insists his Southampton team are the best in the Championship, though it is questionable whether he was watching the same dismal display that the rest of us were seeing in this Black Country howler.

"I haven't seen anyone in this League better than us," said Redknapp, who deflected questions about a return to Portsmouth. "We've battered so many teams, we're just short of goals."

In truth, though, Southampton never got going yesterday, and they are still failing to produce anything on the pitch to create as much interest as the cloak-and-dagger activities behind the scenes at St Mary's. Theo Walcott, the 16-year-old striker being courted by Chelsea, summed up their day with an ineffective display. The well-received minute's applause for George Best had warmed the cockles before kick-off, but the football itself was more of a dirge than a celebration.

Wolves had the game's best chances, but they looked clumsy up front in the absence of strikers Carl Cort and Kenny Miller, with George Ndah wasting some good opportunities.

Unfortunately, the central figure was the referee Paul Taylor, who had a questionable game and should have given a penalty in the first half when Wolves' Colin Cameron was brought down in the box by Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi.

"We had two penalty claims that I thought were penalties," said the Wolves manager, Glenn Hoddle. "The referee made it a frustrating day, but I'm not going to say exactly what I think about his performance."