Redknapp relaxed for Fratton trip
Tottenham manager not worried by 'idiots' as he prepares for Pompey return
Thursday 15 October 2009
Harry Redknapp is not concerned about "idiots" as he prepares to return to Portsmouth with Tottenham this weekend. The former Pompey manager, who won the FA Cup in his second spell in charge at Fratton Park, left the club for Spurs last year.
Redknapp accepts some supporters may try to make him feel unwelcome during Saturday's Premier League encounter between the two sides but he claims not to be worried. He said: "People who have got any sense look at what I did for that football club.
"I took them from the bottom of the Championship to winning the Championship and becoming a top-seven, top-eight Premier League club, winning the FA Cup. If people are stupid enough to shout abuse they need their heads looking at, in my opinion.
"I'm not bothered about the idiots. There are enough good people at the club who I know well and appreciate what I did there. Am I bothered about some nutter running up to me? No. I don't need security, I can look after myself."
The Spurs manager, meanwhile, has rejected speculation linking him with a move for one of his former Pompey players, Internazionale's Sulley Muntari, and denied he is preparing to let Roman Pavlyuchenko leave.
There has been growing speculation that Ghana midfielder Muntari could return to England while Russia striker Pavlyuchenko has been linked with Zenit St Petersburg. "I've never made an enquiry about Sulley," Redknapp said. "I like Sulley, he was a terrific player for me at Portsmouth. I remember that day when he scored two at Villa, that day when he went there and played fantastically. Sulley is a top player, but I've not spoken to Jose Mourinho about him."
The Spurs manager is also mystified by continued rumours that Pavlyuchenko will leave in January. The Russian has struggled to settle in England and has found himself out of the side behind Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane. But Redknapp added: "I don't get involved in agreeing deals. If someone spoke to the chairman that's different, but the chairman would have told me.
"If there are any negotiations anyway that's above my head. As far as I know Daniel [Levy] has never rung me and spoke about Pav going and he would have done.
"He's a good player, and I do feel sorry for him. It's just we've three players this season who've all scored hat-tricks – Keano, Crouchy and Jermain Defoe. It's been hard for him. But he's a good player, and I like him very much. I really don't want to lose him."
Redknapp has also had his say on his managerial colleague Sir Alex Ferguson's controversial outburst about the fitness of referee Alan Wiley.
He said: "There's been many a time when I've wanted to have a go [at the referee]. At times, after a game, when you've put everything into it and you've had a bad decision go against you, it's easy to lose your head.
"But really the best way is to go away and think about it all and maybe in the cold light of day have a chat with the referee at a later date. There's nothing to stop you picking the phone up and having a chat about the decisions he made. Certainly you could give it 45 or 60 minutes after a game rather than rushing in and making rash statements."
Redknapp believes referees are as fit as they can be expected to be – but still face an impossible task to be up with the pace of play at all times. "They cover a large amount of ground, but it's obviously doing it at the speed that teams break at and the pace that players run at. They can't possibly keep up with it. It's impossible for them to sprint from one end of the pitch to the other. It's very, very difficult for them."
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