Premier League

Harry could be in hot water

TEAMtalk Media Group, TEAMtalk Media Group
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15/12/2011 22:13 +0100

The incident happened during Tottenham's 4-0 win at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night. Goals from Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a resounding win over the Irish part-timers, but Rubin Kazan's 1-1 draw at PAOK Salonika meant Redknapp's team crashed out of the Europa League. The 64-year-old's night took a turn for the worse with 20 minutes left when he appeared to make the angry gesture towards the Shamrock fans, who had barracked him almost continuously throughout the match. The Spurs boss, who was this week warned by the Football Association over his future conduct after making critical comments about referee Chris Foy, tried to downplay the apparent incident after the game. When asked if had made an obscene gesture towards the Rovers fans, Redknapp said: "Not really. Did I make an "obscene" gesture? No, I didn't make... No." Redknapp had taken heavy criticism from the Rovers fans all night, but tried again to play down the incident by saying: "I have spent enough time in Ireland to know what lovely people they are. "If you go and meet them afterwards they are probably lovely people. But they get together and shout a load of nonsense and that is football. That's life. I don't hold any grudges." Recent defeats to Rubin Kazan and PAOK Salonika meant Tottenham were big outsiders to progress from Group A before Thursday night's match. They had to beat Shamrock and hope PAOK beat Rubin in Greece while the Londoners also had to overturn a five-goal goal difference the Russians held over them. At half-time, Spurs were on course to progress, however, with Rubin 1-0 down and reduced to 10 men while Redknapp's team were 3-0 up. Another two goals would have been enough had the result in Thessaloniki stayed the same, but Rubin equalised, meaning Spurs were heading out, regardless of their margin of victory in Ireland. Redknapp was proud of his players, but admitted his team were facing an almost impossible task to qualify. "We came and did the job we had to do but when you are in a situation like we were tonight and you are relying on another score, it is always difficult," he said. "At half-time, with the Russian team losing 1-0 having gone down to 10 men very early in the first half, I thought maybe they will be beaten 2-0 or 3-0, and we would just need to win by three or four, but I had a feeling they would draw." Pienaar's 18-yard drive opened the scoring for a much-changed Tottenham side, before Townsend scored the pick of the goals with a brilliant 20-yard curler. He then played in Defoe for the third in first half injury time before Kane scored his first Tottenham goal at the death to seal the emphatic win. Redknapp has never hidden his dislike of the Europa League, but tonight insisted he was disappointed to be exiting the competition. "It was disappointing. I want to win every game. We haven't not gone through for lack of trying," he said. "Maybe if I had played players like Scott Parker and Rafa van der Vaart we might have sneaked through, but we might not have won 10 out of 11 league games though." The defeat meant Shamrock ended their first full European campaign without registering a point. The Irish champions did play well at times tonight, however, and came close to grabbing a consolation goal on a number of occasions. Departing manager Michael O'Neill, who is believed to have an interview for the vacant Northern Ireland job next week, admits Spurs were a class apart tonight. "We were playing against a better team with better players," he said. "I thought we played well in the early part of the game but the goal set us back. "It's disappointing. In the second half we did well, but we have to be honest and say we were well beaten by the better team." O'Neill admits he is sad to be leaving Tallaght Stadium after a successful three-year period in which he has won back-to-back titles and made Shamrock the first League of Ireland club to qualify for the groups stages of a European competition. "The three years have been fantastic," he added. "The season before I came here they finished seventh in the league and were 42 points behind the winners. Since then we have won the cup and the league on two occasions."

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