Southampton 0 Reading 0

Redknapp lacks attacking focus

Jason Burt
Thursday 29 September 2005 00:13
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The Southampton manager will attend a press conference today along with chairman Rupert Lowe and performance director Sir Clive Woodward - the man responsible for the raft of esoteric coaches - to "clear up the rubbish that has been written" about the three of them and their apparent lack of harmony.

"I don't have a problem with Clive," Redknapp said. "He wants to come and learn about football. He is not a problem. I get on well with him." Redknapp said he wanted to "concentrate on getting this club back into the Premier League - which I will do."

But won't do it without goals. "They're gold-dust," Redknapp said. That, along with cash, is something Lowe is denying him right now. The manager looked a frustrated figure and not just because of the result.

This goalless encounter was Southampton's sixth successive league draw. It also confirmed Reading as genuine promotion contenders even if manager Steve Coppell acknowledged they "rode our luck" and were indebted to an immense display from goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, with one instinctive one-handed block from Ricardo Fuller and another from Danny Higginbotham.

Reading had their moments but increasingly relied on Southampton's profligacy. Open goals were missed in the first and last minute - a Nigel Quashie shot and a Fuller header.

There was a dust-up between Darren Powell and Kevin Doyle, for which the former may be punished if video evidence is found, but although it was a bruising encounter it was also a committed, entertaining and wildly rain-lashed one.

Two Ivar Ingimarsson headers flashed wide, Doyle hit another over and a Glen Little shot was deflected away but it was Southampton, with 21 attempts on goal and 12 corners, who increasingly dominated.

"It was incredible," Redknapp said. "Anyone who witnessed that game and thought we did not play well doesn't know anything about football." He was right - but it wasn't clear whether that final point was aimed at Woodward, Lowe or the assembled press.

Southampton (4-4-2): Niemi; Hajto, Lundekvam, Powell, Higginbotham; Oakley (Ormerod, 87), Quashie, Wise, Kosowski (Pahars, 71); Fuller, Jones. Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Cranie, Delap.

Reading (4-4-2): Hahnemann; Murty, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Makin; Little, Gunnarsson, Harper, Convey; Lita (Obinna, 82), Doyle. Substitutes not used: Federici (gk), Hunt, Oster, Baradji.

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

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