'Lovely bloke' Crouch backed by Redknapp

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, is considering whether to name Peter Crouch among the substitutes in the first game since his early dismissal against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Crouch is suspended for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final at White Hart Lane on Wednesday but is not guaranteed a start in today's Premier League clash with Stoke City.

Redknapp revealed that the England striker's red card, for two bookable offences in the first 15 minutes in Spain, left the 30-year-old feeling sick with regret. "I had a chat with him," Redknapp said yesterday. "He's a caring sort of fella, a lovely bloke and he just apologised and said he was sick. But you have to move on from that otherwise you go home and sit in a dark room for six years. It's done.

"You don't go home laying in bed thinking about it. What can you do? The next night you're sick and it will take him a while to get over it but you can't walk around wanting to hang himself. He hasn't murdered someone. What's he done? The kid's made a mistake." Crouch has not started a Premier League game since February, with Redknapp preferring to use Jermain Defoe regularly and rotating Rafael van der Vaart and Roman Pavlyuchenko as his partner.

But Redknapp appreciates the contribution Crouch has made with his goals in Europe, even if he has struggled for goals in domestic football. "He's a good pro, a good lad. People have to realise his goals got us there in the first place," Redknapp said. "And all the other lads love Crouchy. He's a great guy."

Crouch's seven goals in the Champions League, including a hat-trick against Young Boys, helped Spurs through to the last eight, and Redknapp has savoured his experience in Europe's top club competition.

Spurs are five points off fourth-placed Chelsea and Redknapp believes it is possible to sneak into the qualifying places again. He is among the favourites to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager and back-to-back finishes in the top four would bolster his claims. But he said: "I don't go home thinking 'this job is coming up'. I just get on with what I'm doing here.

"It's been a great season in the Champions League, an amazing experience and we want some more of it. We want to keep trying to do that on a regular basis if we can. But we know it's hard. We had one bit of a blip against Real Madrid but I've got nothing to get low about."

Redknapp admitted playing in the Europa League would be a let down after their recent experiences. He added: "It would be a comedown. Nothing compares to the Champions League, it's different class. Absolutely on another level."

Tom Huddlestone and Younes Kaboul are back from injury and in the squad to face Stoke. There is also good news on defender Ledley King as he does not require an operation and could play again this season.

Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test