Redknapp vents anger at lost points

Bolton Wanderers 3 Tottenham Hotspur 2

The "Happy Harry" persona had been discarded. With a face that made thunder seem cheerful, Harry Redknapp confronted the world and made no attempt at levity. No trademark quips, no barrow-boy charm. He was seriously fed up and the mood was going to spread.

"If I told you how upset I am you'd never believe me," the Tottenham Hotspur manager said. "I'll try to lift myself over the weekend, which isn't easy. I have a shit weekend coming up, so have the family and anyone else who gets near me." Maybe the Redknapp household was not the place to go to for Sunday lunch.

The immediate reason for Redknapp's gloom was obvious. Spurs had dragged themselves back from 2-0 down thanks to two goals from Darren Bent and if you had been forced to pick a winner then Tottenham were the obvious choice. Then, for the third time in the match, the visitors failed to defend a high ball and Kevin Davies scored Bolton Wanderers' winner at the near post.

Redknapp was furious that, for the fourth time in recent weeks, points had been surrendered to fellow toilers thanks to goals in the final minutes, but the realisation of the task ahead of him also weighed heavily. Jermain Defoe, his £14m striker, will be missing for several weeks with a foot injury, and the introduction of Wilson Palacios and Pascal Chimbonda might have bought an improvement but the defeats keep coming.

"I'm not going to say I'm not worried about relegation, everyone in the bottom half of the League is," he said before dismissing any talk of being too good to go down. "Why?" he retorted. "Tottenham had a man before me who is now manager of Real Madrid and they had two points from eight games."

The weak point, ruthlessly exposed by Bolton in this game, was an inability to deal with anything more than six inches above the ground. Sébastien Puygrenier and Davies scored with headers and, in between, the goal arrived directly from another feeble bit of aerial defending that allowed Gary Cahill to flick on. "We're not a big side," Redknapp conceded. "The two centre-halves apart, you are lucky to find too many players in the team who you could call real headers of the ball." The pint-sized Robbie Keane would be ideal then.

It is not a problem Bolton, packed with strapping six footers, suffer from and nor did they appear to miss the transferred Kevin Nolan too much. Their manager, Gary Megson, may be irritated that his club captain was sold to Newcastle United but he called his seven senior players together on Friday and the response was impressive. "I asked the question 'What did Kevin bring to the club?' The main things were his leadership and his character in the dressing room. We agreed we needed to replace that with what we have got.

I thought Kevin Davies did that in abundance today and other people have got to step up."

Megson expects to be busy today trying to bring in the two players needed to eradicate the possibility of relegation. "I think it will be a mad scramble," he said with a degree of scorn. "The window – and I have said this all the way through – is an absolute nonsense. It's creating a spiral of prices going up that is great for one group of people: agents. It's not great for football. I have never come across anyone who thinks the transfer window is a good idea."

For once, Redknapp, the grand master of the January window, seemed tired with it too.

Goals: Puygrenier (31) 1-0; K Davies (64) 2-0; Bent (73) 2-1; Bent (75) 2-2; K Davies (87) 3-2.

Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, Puygrenier (A O'Brien, 79), Samuel; K Davies, M Davies, Muamba, Gardner, Taylor; Makukula (Smolarek, 61). Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Basham, Riga, Shittu, Obadeyi.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1): Cudicini; Corluka (Chimbonda, 68), Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto; Bentley, Palacios, Zokora (Jenas, h-t), Lennon; Modric (Bent, h-t); Pavlyuchenko. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Bale, Huddlestone, Campbell.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire)

Booked: Tottenham Dawson.

Man of the match: K Davies.

Attendance: 21,575

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police