Harry Redknapp bans Tottenham Christmas party


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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp has banned Tottenham from enjoying another Christmas party and told his multi-millionaire stars it is a small sacrifice for the money they earn.

Two years ago, Redknapp was furious to discover the Spurs squad had gone behind his back to arrange a festive knees-up in Dublin.

Manchester City have held a fancy-dress Christmas party and Arsenal's players have been pictured enjoying a night out in London.

Redknapp has no problem being cast as Scrooge. The Spurs manager believes a team social can only attract trouble at a time when his team face a run of four Barclays Premier League games in 14 days, starting with Sunderland at home on Sunday.

"No more Christmas parties. We are too busy playing football, we have too many games and they have to concentrate on playing and getting on with their football," Redknapp said.

"If they can't behave themselves, if they can't miss having a drink with the money they are earning there is something wrong with them.

"They are getting fortunes. They have great careers, great lives. They can get on with their football and then go away for six weeks in the summer. Don't cause problems at Christmas.

"We have a busy period over Christmas, we are training every day. We will train Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We play the day after Boxing Day.

"I don't want them going out having Christmas parties. What chance have you got? The press will be waiting, someone will be taking pictures of them. Somebody can just have their eyes closed and it looks like they are boozed. You don't need it.

"When footballers are injured, alcohol is the worst thing when you are looking to recover. You have players here who have injuries, you don't want them going out having a drink, it is no good to them.

"They can go and have a six-week holiday in the summer and do what they want."

Tottenham's 4-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers last night was not enough to secure qualification from the Europa League group stages.

Redknapp does not buy into the theory that an early European exit will help Tottenham's push for Champions League qualification.

"I wanted to stay in. I was desperate for us to get the result and at half-time it looked like we would do that," Redknapp reflected.

"Unfortunately (the PAOK Salonika-Rubin Kazan) game ended up a draw. A lot of people thought it probably would be a draw and settle for a stalemate in the end.

"Everything went to plan (in Europe). We beat the Russians (Rubin Kazan) at home, Shamrock home and away and we went to Greece and drew (with PAOK).

"But we had one bad 10 minutes at home to them and found ourselves two goals down and we couldn't get them back.

"I was as low when we got beaten at home (by PAOK), I was despondent because you want to win games, it becomes a habit. You don't want to go out of any competition."

Tottenham had their 11-game unbeaten Premier League run ended by Stoke last weekend but Redknapp does not believe that result will knock Spurs out of their stride.

"We are difficult to beat at White Hart Lane. We have been on a great run," Redknapp said.

"We got beaten by Stoke and drew at Newcastle but from 12 games we have had 10 wins. It's a fantastic run and we are full of confidence."