Redknapp thinks Gomes is great now

Harry Redknapp insists any doubts he had over Heurelho Gomes have

been dispelled by the Brazilian goalkeeper’s commanding form for

Tottenham.

Gomes kept a third successive clean sheet in Boxing Day’s

goalless draw against Fulham, producing a string of fine saves as

Spurs escaped Craven Cottage with a point.

Redknapp admits to being mystified by Gomes’ reputation as

one of the world’s finest keepers when he initially assumed control

of relegation-mired Spurs in October last year. A succession of

high-profile blunders had shattered the 28-year-old’s confidence

and left fans questioning just why the £7.8million signing

from PSV Eindhoven was so highly rated.

But Gomes, with the help of goalkeeping coach Tony Parks, has

flourished this season and Redknapp now understands the rave

reviews.

“There was a time when I had my doubts about Gomes,” said

Redknapp. “When I first arrived at Tottenham I thought ‘we’ve got a

problem here’ because he was going through a bad time.

“Tony Parks coming has made a big difference. Tony had him

working on the training ground while before he was looking at the

technical side of it.

“The hard work has got into his head and given him the

confidence he needed.

“When Gomes joined Tottenham, Tony Adams said to me that

Spurs had signed the best keeper in the world. Tony had been

working in Holland.

“Guus Hiddink, who had him at Eindhoven, was saying the same

thing.

“I thought are they all right or what? Tony’s not drinking

any more… But now he looks a terrific keeper.”

Gomes’ reflexes kept Tottenham in contention throughout the

first of two London derbies in three days, with West Ham next up at

White Hart Lane on Monday.

Fulham created far more chances than Champions League-chasing

Spurs and Redknapp believes the outcome – and his satisfaction with

a point – illustrates how difficult the Premier League has become.

But the former Hammers manager remains convinced his team are

strong enough to finish in the top four.

“It’s a good point at Fulham – they beat Manchester United

convincingly last weekend,” he said. “I thought Chelsea would win,

not draw, at Birmingham (yesterday). I also thought they’d go to

West Ham and win, but it’s so difficult at the moment.

“It’s hard to get three points. Anyone can close the gap on

Chelsea because they haven’t been that convincing but they still

have a nice lead.

“Other clubs have improved their squads and are having a go.

Every game is more difficult.

“Smaller clubs are no longer rolling over for the bigger

ones. It’s hard to pick up results.

“But I still think we’re good enough to finish in the top

four. There won’t be much between us and Aston Villa and it will be

interesting to see how Manchester City go now.

“I think we’ve got a chance of breaking into the top four.

I’ve told the players we can do it, let’s have a go.”

Redknapp must decide whether to start with Robbie Keane

against West Ham following the club captain’s ineffectual display

against Fulham.

Keane has played second fiddle to Jermain Defoe recently and

Redknapp admits he is struggling to adjust.

“Robbie Keane’s been used to playing all the time. Recently

he’s been subbed or hasn’t started and he’s not found that easy,”

he said. “But Robbie’s a big player and his attitude and the way he

trains have remained first class.”