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Centre stage

Posted on 19 August 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp said Niko Kranjcar 'ran the game' from central midfield at Hearts.

Harry Redknapp said Niko Kranjcar 'ran the game' from central midfield at Hearts.

The Croatian international was at the heart of a performance packed full of slick passing, movement and clinical finishes as we ran out 5-0 winners in the first leg of our Europa League play-off at Tynecastle.

"I thought Niko Kranjcar was outstanding in midfield," said Harry.

"He never plays there (central) really. I play him off the left, he plays behind the front, but he played central and he enjoyed it. He got on the ball, joined up with Rafa well in the first half and he was outstanding.

"Niko ran the game, really. He is a great footballer. I brought him here from Portsmouth and he can really play.

"He was linking up with Rafa and there was great movement everywhere. I couldn't have asked for more. It was excellent."

The return leg is at the Lane on Thursday, August 25.

Before that, we open our Premier League campaign at Old Trafford against champions United on Monday night.