Football Football

Redknapp shrugs off Spurs slump


LIVERPOOL, England, March 11- Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists he is not worried about his team’s position despite three straight losses in the Premier League.

Redknapp, who has been linked with the England vacancy since Fabio Capello left the job last month, saw his side lose 1-0 at Everton on Saturday, a defeat which followed on from losses against Arsenal and Manchester United.

Tottenham qualified for the Champions League the season before last and until recently had looked likely to push Manchester City and United in the title race.

But rivals Arsenal can now close to within a point when they host Newcastle on Monday night.

Even though they have suffered three consecutive losses for the first time since Redknapp replaced Juande Ramos in 2008, the Tottenham manager is not surprised at the chasing pack closing on his team.

“I’m suicidal really,” Redknapp joked. “We’ve lost away to Arsenal, away to Everton and at home to Manchester United and they’re always going to be tough games.

“Two of the games we didn’t deserve to lose — against Everton and against Manchester United.

“I said all along that 10 points can evaporate very quickly. You look at the fixtures and you knew going away to Arsenal, Chelsea, playing Manchester United, they were tough games and you knew it could turn.

“But we’re still in a better position than the other teams and we’ve just got to keep going, keep believing and we’ll go again and turn it around.

“Against Manchester United we couldn’t have asked for more but we switched off for a couple of set plays and we came back strong in the second half.”

Redknapp attracted controversy with his decision to select star player Gareth Bale on the right flank at Everton.

The Wales international has made his name with his surging runs on the left and even the Spurs supporters registered their discontent at Redknapp’s tactics.

The Tottenham manager was also forced to defend Bale after the winger was accused of diving once again, two weeks after being accused of going down too easily in the 5-2 defeat against Arsenal.

But the Tottenham manager claims that Aaron Lennon’s hamstring problem has left him short of alternatives on the right flank.

The winger limped out of the 3-1 win over Stevenage in midweek.

“He runs so quickly and when you’re running at the pace he runs and you change direction, you get clipped and you go over,” said Redknapp.

“When you’re that quick that can happen so I don’t think he goes over too easily, he gets chopped down an awful lot but it’s all part of the game and he has to accept that.

“I switched him because we haven’t got a wide right player. I’ve got people that can play off the left, Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric, but there’s no-one at the club apart from Aaron Lennon and David Bentley that can play wide right so it’s a problem.

“He plays on the right for Wales anyway and he likes to come in on the left foot.”

Nikica Jelavic marked his first Everton start since joining in a £6 million move from Rangers with his first Premier League goal midway through the opening period.

With Everton now unbeaten in nine matches, it was the perfect start to a week that sees manager David Moyes celebrate 10 years in charge at Goodison Park.

Trailing their neighbours by two points, they could move above Liverpool with a win at Anfield on Tuesday and they also have an FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland to come on Saturday.

“We’ve got Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League so it was going to be a tough period to pick up points so to get three was a good way to start this period,” said Moyes.

He was also pleased with Jelavic’s first effort and added: “We’ve missed having somebody who can come in and make something out of nothing.

“He took it early and hopefully he’s someone who can score a few goals out of nothing. It was a great finish.”