Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, has confirmed his side's push to remain in the top four of the Premier League has been hampered by injury to his winger Aaron Lennon.
The England international would probably have been rested anyway for tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie at home to Peterborough but Redknapp confirmed he was unlikely to play any part in the trip to Liverpool, their rivals for a Champions League qualification place, for the league match on 10 January. "He's picked up a bit of a groin strain and will be out for a couple of weeks," Redknapp said.
A similar problem has already denied the club the services of Benoît Assou-Ekotto, the left-back, who has also been ruled out of international duty with Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations as a result. "He is going to have an injection on Monday, an anaesthetic, and he will be out for a few weeks," Redknapp said. "He and Lennon are two outstanding players and they have both picked up groin strains. It's a big blow to us."
The centre-back Jonathan Woodgate remains a long-term casualty but Redknapp insisted he did not intend to make signings even though the transfer window is now open again. "At the moment I haven't even got a player in mind – not one," he said. "We've got a terrific squad. Where do I find somebody better?"
Redknapp may soon have space for another forward, however, if Roman Pavlyuchenko gets the transfer he craves. The Russian, who cost Spurs £13.8m 18 months ago, has accused his manager of "mocking him" by leaving him on the bench so often.
Redknapp had his own version of events. "Before the Manchester United game [on 1 December] he came to see me and I said I was going to play him but he said 'I am not ready to play, my head is not right'.
"I can't put a player on the pitch not knowing if his head is right or not. It's hard to understand."
* Liverpool's right-back Glen Johnson will miss his side's league game with Spurs after his manager Rafael Benitez confirmed he will be out for at least four weeks with the knee injury he picked up against Aston Villa on Tuesday. "Johnson will see a specialist and then we will know more but he'll be out for at least one month," he said.Reuse content