Belfast Telegraph

Harry Redknapp fumes at internationals on eve of Premier kick-off

Harry Redknapp has delivered a strong personal attack on the upcoming international fixture programme, warning it could wreck Tottenham’s preparations for their most important start to a season in years.

Redknapp can’t understand why his and other Premier League players are being forced into a series of friendlies across the globe on August 11, just three days before the new league campaign gets under way.

“What on earth is this about?” asked a furious Redknapp, whose side kick off against Manchester City before their eagerly awaited Champions League qualifier a few days later.

“Can someone tell me why you have an international week the same week the season starts? What’s the point?”

Spurs had 10 players away on World Cup duty and those who were available returned for Thursday’s pre-season friendly against Villarreal. Tottenham now go to Benfica on Tuesday, before wrapping up their pre-season programme against Fiorentina a week today.

But instead of then hitting the training ground for a period of intensive preparation ahead of a Champions League qualifier — which could shape their season — many of the Spurs squad go off to play for their countries.

“We play Fiorentina next Saturday — which is a nuisance in itself — then they go off and play for their countries in another meaningless friendly. I won’t see them until the Friday, 24 hours before we play Manchester City,” fumed Redknapp.

“How can that be a way to prepare?” he asked.

The White Hart Lane boss complained: “We are piling in more and more games. All you can do is play and recover, play and recover.”

Redknapp’s injury problems are already mounting. Luka Modric, Wilson Palacios, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Jenas are all receiving treatment.

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