Redknapp: Don't blame Crouch
Harry Redknapp has urged Tottenham fans not to hold a grudge against Peter Crouch over his damaging dismissal against Real Madrid.
The story may have been a lot different had Crouch not seen red for two late fouls in the opening 15 minutes.
Within seconds of the rash challenge on Marcelo that earned Crouch his second yellow, the internet was awash with comments poking fun at the towering striker - some of them from Spurs fans.
The 30-year-old apologised for his sending off and looked chirpy at the club's training ground on Friday ahead of the Premier League game against Stoke.
Redknapp admits Crouch's confidence has been hit by the sending off, but he has called on the fans to remember that without the striker's seven European goals, the club would not have made the last eight.
"Crouchy has been low and feels he's let everybody down, but you have to remember that without Crouchy we wouldn't have been there," Redknapp said.
"His goals took us to the quarter-finals. He has won games for us. He's a great lad and I have got so much time for him as a person and a player. He's sorry for what he did but we have to move on."
Having beaten both Milan heavyweights to get to the quarter-finals, there was a clear sense of disappointment as the players filed out of the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
Redknapp insists, however, that the first-leg defeat has not dented his team's confidence, and he is now determined to put their nightmare trip to the Spanish capital behind them.
"We're in a fantastic mood. I have not had to lift the players," Redknapp said.
"We've had a great season, with one bit of a blip the other day.
"I was ok, I wasn't on the floor when I got home or anything.
"I got home at 5.30 in the morning, had a cup of tea and took the dogs for a walk. I was fine.
"I've got nothing to get low about. It was a disappointing game but I couldn't come away feeling we hadn't worked as hard as we could.
"Playing with 10 against the incredible players they have is impossible. We did an incredible job hanging in there."
Spurs' recent poor form, particularly against teams in the bottom half of the table, has seen them fall five points behind fourth place with eight matches remaining.
The Londoners have not won for almost two months and have failed to score in their last four, but Redknapp insists he is not worried about his side's poor run.
"We've made lots of chances, but the form isn't bad at all. We have had one defeat in the last nine league games. You can't always win. I have been pleased with the way that we have been playing.
"It's tough to break into the top four. We beat Manchester City to do it last year and they went out and spent about £140million on players to make sure that they got there this year. That's how hard it is, but we still have a good chance."
Aaron Lennon, who pulled out of Tuesday's game at the last minute due to illness, will be given a late fitness test on Saturday along with injured Croatian duo Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar.
There was some good news from the treatment room concerning Ledley King though. The injury-plagued defender has not played since October but no longer requires a second operation on his groin problem.
"Ledley is not having surgery," Redknapp added.
"He's doing a little bit of fitness training. Let's see how he goes. It's week to week with him."