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Redknapp hails Pavlyuchenko

LONDON, February 25 – Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp backed his in-form striker Roman Pavlyuchenko to fire his team towards Wembley after the Russian's two goals helped them cruise into the FA Cup quarter-finals.The former Spartak Moscow attacker, who was out of favour and the centre of transfer speculation during the January transfer window, also netted a double in last Sunday’s win at Wigan, giving Redknapp pause for thought.

"He’s in great form," said Redknapp after the 4-0 rout of Bolton at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

"Last week he trained hard and worked hard and looked very good. He looked like he wanted a go and when people work in training it rubs off on Saturday," he added.

The former Southampton boss expects the international star to start in Sunday’s crucial league game with Everton as Spurs look to strengthen their grip on a Champions League spot.

"There’s every chance he will start Sunday. He’s a quality finisher and his confidence should be high. Only he can get himself out of the team at the moment," said Redknapp, who guided Portsmouth to the 2008 FA Cup trophy.

Pavlyuchenko grabbed the first and last goals in Wednesday’s win, adding to two own goals from Wanderers ‘keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and defender Andy O’Brien.

The Lillywhites face a tricky trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham in the last eight on March 6 but with the Russian forward finally finding his scoring boots, will be hopeful of securing a semi-final berth.

"It will be a tough game," Redknapp predicted. "Roy (Hodgson) has done a fantastic job there, they are a good side who are on a good run. It will be a good tie."

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Despite the tough draw, with both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal already out of the competition Redknapp will be optimistic about lifting the trophy again, especially if they can avoid Chelsea.

One slight problem facing Spurs in the competition is that Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar is cup-tied, meaning they have a relatively inexperienced bench.

A bigger concern for Spurs is the condition of speedy winger Aaron Lennon who has been missing since December with a groin injury.

The former Leeds man – who impressed for England at the 2006 World Cup finals – will be desperate to secure his place in Fabio Capello’s England World Cup squad and will fly off to Europe on Thursday to see a specialist.

"Lennon will see an expert tomorrow (Thursday) and we just hope we get some good news," Redknapp said. "We didn’t get to the bottom of the problem before but he’s desperate to play. We’re all desperate for him."

Opponents Bolton, mindful of their upcoming struggle to retain their Premier League status, offered some early resistance but were eventually blown away.

Wanderers manager Owen Coyle rested star striker Kevin Davies as they look towards Saturday’s vital Premier League relegation battle with Wolverhampton, who sit two places and one point above them in the table.

"I love the FA Cup. It’s the best cup competition in the world bar none and I put out a team I thought could win," The ex-Burnley manager said.

"But Saturday is a massive game and our real cup finals start now. We must make sure we stay in the Premier League."

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"Saturday is a great opportunity to get three points but there is work to do. You live and die in both boxes and we’ve not done both well enough. There will be changes as Saturday is vitally important," he added.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Janet Kanyora Kay

    August 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Very insightful!

  2. econke

    August 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Delightfully thoughtful piece

  3. Jann

    August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Oh Oh….some hot short guy somewhere will shoot your back, watch your back!!!!

  4. Aaron

    August 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

    The author of this article sounds incredibly bitter. Did some short guy steal your girlfriend in high school or something? Heightism is just as bad as racism or sexism and society is moving past it whether you like it or not.

  5. Oliver Ollie Evusa

    August 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

    it is true height has always been a factor ,ask any short woman and she will automatically tell you yes i have experienced this and so many of my buddies to can attest to it a 4.5ft lady would go out with a 7.oft guy easily than her equivalent ,woman love thrill adventure and exploration

  6. Carolynar

    August 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I am very Tall……I Can’t date a short man, i do not want to bend when giving him a hug…LOL

    • suluhisho

      August 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Would you rather date a tall brainless fellow or a rational shorter guy who values and appreciates you, am shocked even in this day and age people place so much value on height and physical looks rather than on character of the person.No wonder so many hearts are wrecked daily.

  7. Wilson Wanjama

    August 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Makes a lot of sense especially the part where tall ladies want to avenge what happened to them while in highschool

  8. Ngeno

    September 1, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I am short and that’s all true and even worse than was elaborated by the author, in school we get bullied, at home we are never taken seriously and at work treated as second class employees regardless of performance. In reality whoever, short people are some of the more consequential group of people within our species, they live longer and are way more productive in all fields taken as a percentage of the entire population – think napoleon, Hitler, Einstein, bill gates, Deng Xiaoping, and the list goes on.

  9. joymb

    September 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I’m 5’10…most guys I’ve clicked with have been my height or shorter n they dont mind if I wear heels bcos theyr confident enough… Height doesn’t really matter

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