Redknapp dismisses Tottenham exit rumours

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp dismissed any notion that he was about to leave Tottenham after odds tumbled on him becoming the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

Bookmakers slashed odds on Redknapp leaving White Hart Lane from 50-1 to evens at one point despite the manager having led Tottenham to their best start for 50 years.

After taking a training session with the first team before leaving for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League match against Bolton a bewildered Redknapp laughed off the rumours.

He said: "I'm definitely not leaving. It's absolute nonsense. Absolute rubbish.

"I couldn't be happier than I am here. There's not a chance of that happening. I love it here and I have no intention of leaving. It couldn't have gone better for me."

Internet sites were awash with speculation, some suggesting Redknapp could be on his way back to Portsmouth for a third time in a bid to rescue the club which has gone seven matches without recording a point this season and which this week was unable to pay some of its players.

The Portsmouth situation was compounded when new Arab owner Sulaiman Al Fahim, who has promised a £50million cash injection into the club, was taken to hospital with kidney stones.

Redknapp, whose Spurs side have won five of their first seven league matches this season, said: "I left Portsmouth more than a year ago. Hopefully, Portsmouth will get sorted out. I don't know where people dream these stories up from.

"I just hope the guy who is in hospital recovers and puts his money in and Portsmouth will be fine.

"It's been a difficult year for them.

"They've sold £80million worth of players and it's sad to see them in that situation.

"I just hope the guy sticks to his word and gives Peter Storrie (Portsmouth chief executive) the help he needs to sort the club out."

Redknapp, who left Fratton Park just over a year ago, sympathised with Portsmouth manager Paul Hart.

"It's difficult for Harty," said Redknapp. "I took him there. It's just sad. As somebody said they've (Portsmouth) found the only Arab who seems to be struggling for money. Everybody else has got millions of it. It's sad to see them in that situation."

Redknapp, however, defended his own record at Fratton Park which saw a host of big name players win the FA Cup at Wembley less than 18 months ago.

Redknapp said: "People say 'You bought players like (Lassana) Diarra.' Yeah, well they (Portsmouth) paid £5million for Diarra and paid him £50,000 a week.

"But he was there for less than a year and they sold him for £22million. Where is that money? Where is the money for Glen Johnson. Where does it all go? It's sad to see."

Redknapp admitted he realised there were problems at Portsmouth under former owner Sasha Gaydamak but he urged Hart to keep believing that the club's problems could be surmounted.

"You've got to keep going," said Redknapp. "I sensed with the previous owner things were not right. You need owners who are interested in the football club, who want to support the team.

"I don't know why people get involved in football clubs when they are not really that interested in the club. That is what has happened to Portsmouth in my opinion.

"When they got £5million compensation for me they were really happy to accept the money. In fact, I think they called a taxi for me."

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe explained the odds tumbling, saying: "It is probably a bandwagon effect as usual, based on unsubstantiated gossip, but in volatile markets of this nature you can't afford to take a chance and we are being inundated with calls from punters wanting to bet that Harry will be the first to go."

As for the football, Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe trained today and Redknapp will decide tomorrow whether to risk him against Bolton at the Reebok, where he would wear a protective dressing on his dislocated fingers.

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