Redknapp laughs off rumours

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp last night dismissed suggestions that he is ready to walk away from Tottenham Hotspur, just seven games into the north London club's best start to a Premier League season in half a century.

The Tottenham manager was forced to comment after a run of bets with a number of bookmakers saw the odds on him becoming the first top flight manager to leave his post narrowed dramatically.

Ahead of today's match with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium Redknapp dismissed the betting as a consequence of "crazy rumours" and declared he was happy at White Hart Lane.

"I don't know what it is all about, I just don't understand it. Crazy rumours. It doesn't affect me at all. It's just a load of rubbish," said Redknapp. "I couldn't be happier. I get on very well with the chairman," he added. "I love it here, I think I've created a great atmosphere at the training ground, with everybody."

On Thursday night the former West Ham and Pompey manager was 66-1 with Sky Bet to be the first manager out of a job but following a number of bets, believed to be no more than £100, he had narrowed to 11-8 favourite.

A bemused Redknapp dismissed it as a publicity stunt on behalf of the bookmakers: "Someone has rung up and tried to put £50 on me because they've heard some silly rumour, so the bookies' gone and made a big publicity thing of it. It's free publicity for William Hill, or whoever it is.

"There is no problem, it is an absolute load of old tosh – a bit like kissing the badge," joked Redknapp, who has guided Tottenham to fourth in the table, behind Liverpool on goal difference after an opening seven games that have seen the London club score an impressive 17 goals.

Redknapp said that if he were going to leave Tottenham he would do so quickly, like when he controversially and suddenly left Southampton to return to manage Portsmouth in 2005. "I do leave, I always just walk off and go. That's how I am. I'd go in one day and say, 'I'm off'. It's always likely I could do that. But I'm not going to do that, I love it here."

Striker Jermain Defoe was back in full training yesterday and Redknapp will decide today whether to pitch him in against Bolton wearing a protective dressing on his two dislocated fingers. Ledley King is still recovering from a hamstring injury while Roman Pavlyuchenko (Achilles) is back in full training but will not feature at the Reebok.

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