Harry happy as Crouch hits back

BY foxsports • April 10, 2011

Harry Redknapp was delighted to see Peter Crouch bounce back from his Real Madrid nightmare by scoring twice as Tottenham beat Stoke 3-2.

The England hitman's red card 15 minutes into the match against Jose Mourinho's side cost Spurs dearly as they went down 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

The 30-year-old's name was greeted with a mixed reception as it was read out on the public address system before the game, but he soon won the home fans over by opening the scoring with a well-placed header after 10 minutes.

He bagged his second by beating Asmir Begovic with another header just after the half-hour to put the Londoners on course for their first victory in almost two months.

Luka Modric bagged a third but goals from Matthew Etherington and Kenwyne Jones ensured that Tottenham were made to endure a nervy second half.

Redknapp was happy to see his side, and Crouch in particular, answer their critics.

He said: "It was the response I wanted and expected after Real Madrid. I was pleased for Crouchie. I wasn't sure whether to play and him and I wasn't sure what reaction he would get from the crowd.

"Sometimes they can turn on you when they think you're to blame for something but they were great with him and they made a great atmosphere today. He was okay. He wasn't nervous going into the game."

Spurs' bid for a top-four position has faltered recently due to a poor run of form that had seen them slip behind Manchester City and Chelsea after a run of four league games without a win.

They were guilty of basic errors for the goals they conceded today, but looked back to their fluent best in the first half, with Gareth Bale and Modric in particular terrorising the Potters defence.

Redknapp admits his team will have to be much more disciplined at against Madrid on Wednesday if they are to have any chance of overturning the four-goal deficit they accrued this week, but was happy to see his players pick up their first win since February.

"I thought we were a pleasure to watch. It was a privilege to be a part of it and watch it from the sidelines," Redknapp said.

"I was worried at the end when they had some pressure.

"They are dangerous from set pieces and they were winning free-kicks. You have to defend for your life."

Redknapp now hopes Liverpool can beat Manchester City on Monday to keep his team within three points of Roberto Mancini's fourth-placed side.

Redknapp added: "It's still wide open. Anything can happen. Liverpool could beat Man City on Monday night and that could throw it wide open again"

One sour note for the Tottenham boss was seeing Vedran Corluka argue with a home fan after he blasted the defender for failing to run the clock down in injury time.

"I didn't see it. I wanted him to stick it into the corner for Gareth Bale but it didn't work. Players have to be careful in the current climate," Redknapp said.

"I'll speak to Corluka about it, but I don't understand why fans want to give one of their own players stick."

Stoke belied their poor away record to produce a threatening display that was capped off by two brilliant goals.

Etherington ran 50 yards and beat two defenders to score the Potters' first, before Jones produced a stunning strike that went in off the bar to make it 3-2 towards the end of the first half.

Manager Tony Pulis thought his team were close to pulling off another impressive draw after taking a point against Chelsea last week.

"We had a poor start but their strikers caused us all sorts of problems," Pulis said.

"In the second half we pushed and created a lot of problems for them and in the end they were pleased to hear the whistle I think."


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