Redknapp left with only one fit striker after Pavlyuchenko blow

Harry Redknapp fears he could be down to one fit striker for Tottenham's league game against Blackburn on Saturday after Roman Pavlyuchenko suffered a back injury in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

Pavlyuchenko was forced off at half-time and was replaced by Peter Crouch, who had been left out by Redknapp. But England striker Crouch could find himself starting out of necessity this weekend if Pavlyuchenko fails to recover and Robbie Keane is unable to return from an ankle problem.

A scan on Monday showed Keane had picked up slight ligament damage. "I could do with Robbie if Pavlyuchenko's got a bad back," Redknapp said. "It leaves me with only Crouchy. I've got no one else I can push up front, really, even [Aaron] Lennon, who could play through the middle at a pinch [but is injured]."

Redknapp felt Spurs missed the pace of Lennon and Jermain Defoe on Tuesday night, with Gareth Bale his only real speed merchant. "You're relying on Bale; Bale's the only one who's got real pace," said Redknapp of the winger, who saw Nedum Onuoha become the latest player to limit his impact.

"Their right-back was as quick as Gareth. The two centre-halves headed balls away; I think [Titus] Bramble's an underrated player myself. Defoe would have given them problems. [Michael] Turner would have been happy playing against most people. Defoe's little and not his type of player."

Redknapp has injury worries in other areas of the squad, too. Midfielder Aaron Lennon, who has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem, is also likely to miss the visit of Blackburn, while Jamie O'Hara is still not fully recovered from a back complaint.

Three England centre-backs are also unavailable, with Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Michael Dawson all sidelined. Woodgate has not featured since last November due to a continuing groin injury, while Ledley King has missed three weeks with the same injury.

Michael Dawson has been out since early September after sustaining knee ligament damage on England duty while William Gallas has been forced to play through the pain of a calf injury

Lennon was a mere spectator on Tuesday night as Rafael van der Vaart kept up his remarkable record of scoring in every one of his home games since joining Spurs on transfer deadline day.

But a horrible mix-up between Gallas and Younes Kaboul gifted Asamoah Gyan an equaliser just three minutes later to leave Spurs four points adrift of the top four.

Tuesday night's game was not without its flashpoints, the first coming when Howard Webb booked David Bentley for diving in the penalty box and the second when he only gave Lee Cattermole a yellow card for a studs-first challenge on Luka Modric. Redknapp and opposite number Steve Bruce understandably had opposing views on both incidents.

The result left Spurs level on points and goal difference with Sunderland, who have bounced back brilliantly from their Tyne-Wear derby humiliation at the hands of Newcastle.

"In some people's eyes, they'll never forgive," said Bruce, who made six changes on Tuesday. "It's difficult; that's why I made so many changes. But you want a response as a manager; thankfully, they responded very, very well. I couldn't have asked for anything better: four points out of six."

The one bit of bad news for Bruce was that it looks like Anton Ferdinand will be spending up to three weeks out with a hamstring problem. The defender limped off after 18 minutes.

Bruce added: "We made hard work of it in the first half. Let's not take anything away from Tottenham, they're a very, very good team. The one thing we tried to do in the first half was stop their midfield dominance. To be fair, it didn't work, so we changed it second half."

Bruce hailed goalkeeper Craig Gordon, playing his first match of the season and centre-halves Bramble and Turner. He also singled out Onuoha, who frustrated Bale throughout the game. "Nobody will run away from Onuoha, he does the 100 metres in just over 10 seconds," he said.

Bruce added of the Bentley incident: "I haven't seen it on any TV. Howard Webb was right there."

Bruce also pointed to decisions he felt that went against Sunderland, arguing Van der Vaart had handled the ball for his goal and that Heurelho Gomes might have been sent off for tripping Steed Malbranque. "He was the last man, wasn't he?"

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform