Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp admits Norwich City were too hot to handle
10:50 10 April 2012
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp had no complaints about his side’s Premier League defeat by the Canaries, admitting: “We couldn’t handle them.”
City’s 2-1 success put a dent in Spurs’ hopes of booking a Champions League place, but the man favoured by most to be the next England boss gave due credit to Paul Lambert’s men.
“I thought they played ever so well. They looked sharp, lively, I thought they looked decent,” he said.
“We saw them at Fulham the other week and they played excellently, they were really unlucky to lose. They looked a decent team and Paul’s done a great job with them.”
Redknapp was without skipper Scott Parker through a hamstring injury and left one or two of his big names on the bench, then lost defender Younes Kaboul at half-time with a knee problem.
But he made no excuses for a rare home defeat and said his side struggled to cope with City’s front two, skipper Grant Holt and Aaron Wilbraham, making his first Premier League start.
“We were a bit flat for some reason. We struggled. Their front two, Holt and the other lad bullied us a bit. Every ball up to the front we struggled with a bit,” he said.
“I felt he (Holt) held the ball up, got his body in the way right from the first whistle. In the first quarter of an hour every time they played a forward ball we were all over the place with it – we couldn’t handle them. They worked their socks off and played ever so well. Having said that we had a couple of great chances. Benoit (Assou-Ekotto) should have scored and Gareth Bale hit the underside of the bar, but they always had chances as well.
“It was too open from our point of view. We played 4-4-2 today but to be honest I think it leaves us a bit open. It’s an attacking system but we’ve looked stronger recently when we’ve played 4-3-3. I just felt I’d give it a go with the two wide men and two front men but it was a bit disappointing the way we played. One or two didn’t look quite right today.”
Redknapp has not written off his side’s hopes of a Champions League place, however, as they battle with Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle.
“It’s going to be close but there are still five games to go. It’s the team that can win the most games now. It’s still all to play for,” he said. “We had a bad day, we don’t lose too many games at home – and credit to them, they played well.”