Belfast Telegraph

Portsmouth's plight a warning, says Redknapp

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes Portsmouth's plight since winning them the FA Cup serves as a warning to others - and he has questioned why they continued to spend after his departure.

Redknapp takes his Spurs side to Bolton this weekend looking to get into the last eight of the competition he won with Pompey in 2008, but his former club have been in freefall since he left them five months later.

This week they were in the High Court fighting a winding-up petition and their dispute with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs could still see them go out of business.

"I don't know where it all goes," Redknapp said.

"We all thought we built a terrific team there. But you're only relying on the owner.

"They've had four or five different owners and they need someone to come in and take it on and steady the ship really."

Redknapp crucially had the backing of Alexandre Gaydamak when he was boss at Pompey, allowing him to invest in the likes of Lassana Diarra, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson.

Despite huge profits on players, when Gaydamak sold Pompey they no longer had the financial backing - but they continued to spend. This week they signed Dusko Tosic on a free transfer.

"They spent £4million on (Kevin-Prince) Boateng from Spurs," Redknapp said.

"They bought (Nadir) Belhadj for £3million or £4million and he was only on loan before. How do you buy players when you don't have any money? And that was since Gaydamak went."

Redknapp left Fratton Park five months after winning the FA Cup, and he now wants to bring silverware to Spurs despite being in the hunt for a top-four place in the Barclays Premier League.

"We've got a good chance, so it's an important game for us at Bolton, important that we stay in the cup," he said.

"That's what we're looking to do, we want to get to Wembley this year, it's a great day for the club, to go to the cup final."

Redknapp is looking for his side to bounce back after the defeat to Wolves in midweek, where his team suffered again without the creative spark of Aaron Lennon on the right flank.

The Spurs boss also wants his other players to weigh in with more goals rather than relying on Defoe, who he believes can still improve on his game despite hitting the 20-goal mark already this season.

Redknapp said: "He could improve his holding the ball and showing and all around play. He is a great goalscorer but there are other areas of his game that he can still improve on, holding the ball and getting up channels when defenders are looking for a forward ball.

"His finish, he is a top-class finisher when he has the opportunities. but some days he must do that little bit extra to make it happen."

Belfast Telegraph

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