Redknapp calls on Defoe to lead top-four charge
Saturday 05 February 2011
Harry Redknapp has warned that Tottenham risk losing ground in the push for Champions League qualification unless his strikers start delivering. With almost two-thirds of the season gone, Spurs have only scored 37 goals in 24 matches compared to the 49 they had amassed at the same stage last term.
While Rafael van der Vaart has made an excellent start to his first season by scoring nine league goals, Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch have struck just seven times between them. Defoe, who scored 28 goals for club and country last season, has seen his form dip this year and is yet to find the net in the Premier League.
After seeing a deadline-day bid for Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi fail, and sending Robbie Keane on loan to West Ham, Redknapp is keen for Defoe, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko to start delivering fast.
"They are our strike force now," Redknapp said. "We are relying on those three to produce the goals. Van der Vaart is the only man who has got his ratio of goals. We need the strikers to start scoring regularly as well."
Defoe's failure to find the net is the most alarming for Redknapp, who has been able to rely on the 28-year-old during his spells at West Ham and Portsmouth. Defoe's progress has not been helped by an ankle ligament injury he picked up on international duty in September that ruled him out of action for two months.
His manager insists he is not too concerned about the striker's goal drought and is sure that he is capable of helping keep alive Spurs' dreams of making the Champions League for a second successive season. "We are waiting for him to suddenly have that burst of goals that could make the difference to us," Redknapp said.
"If he can go on a run and score some goals he can take us where we want to go. We are relying on him. He is a fantastic finisher. Goalscorers need confidence. The other night he had a couple of one on ones that he would normally score [but] once they do start going in for him he will start going on a run."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food