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Harry - Big win

Posted on 23 November 2008  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp felt the lads passed an important test against Blackburn on Sunday.

Harry - Big win

Harry Redknapp felt the lads passed an important test against Blackburn on Sunday.

That test was how the squad would react to last week's first defeat under Harry's management at Fulham - they passed it with a 1-0 victory at the Lane to climb out of the bottom three in the Barclays Premier League.

Roman Pavlyuchenko's early goal proved enough for maximum points and made it 13 points from a possible 18 in Harry's time in charge so far.

Aaron Lennon provided the assist for the goal and proved the key man on his first league start under Harry. His pace unsettled Rovers and led directly to the visitors being reduced to 10 men as left-back Martin Olsson was sent off following two yellow cards for fouls on the winger.

That came after 39 minutes and from that point we pushed Rovers back without creating too many clear-cut chances as Paul Ince's men defended stoutly.

Still, 1-0 was more than enough as we climbed from 19th to 15th and, incredibly, just three points off the top 10!

"I was pleased, it was a big game for us," said Harry. "It was important to see how we bounced back to that first defeat (under Harry's management) at Fulham last week.

"We worked hard in training, we talked about the game and it was important we got the win."

Roman goal

Harry was convinced referee Howard Webb made the right decision in sending off Olsson. "He committed a foul that was a yellow card but didn't get booked because the referee let us play the advantage. The game went on for a while and he didn't book him in the end.

"Then he committed another foul and that was a yellow card and then the next one was another yellow, for sure, so the referee had no choice really.

"Aaron Lennon can do that to you though. When he gets at you and runs at you his feet are so quick, you stick a foot in for the ball and suddenly it's not there anymore. He causes real problems."

However, the boss conceded it was no easy task to break down the 10 men as they lined-up 4-4-1 with Roque Santa Cruz the lone striker.

"They went to two banks for four, sat in and it's still eight people every time you have the ball," he said.

Aaron Lennon

"I could put on a session in training with 11 against eight and the 11 would find it very difficult to break the eight down if they are half-decent and work to fill the holes. It's not easy."

And there was support for Heurelho Gomes after a solid performance from the keeper. "It was important he got that clean sheet," said Harry. "When your confidence is low it's difficult.

"He's had a little bit of a tough time. You know what it's like, when the crowd suddenly go 'woooooh', that can't help, can it? They don't mean to do it and probably don't realise the affect it has on someone but it must be difficult.

"It's a lonely position, goalkeeper, and when you make a mistake it's not like being anywhere else on the pitch.

"He came through well though and, as I said, it was good for him to get that clean sheet."