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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 30 November 2008  - 12:00

As part of our matchday build-up for home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's column direct from the matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our matchday build-up for home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's column direct from the matchday programme.

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Our encounter with Blackburn Rovers last weekend was a big game for us and so I was extremely pleased to see us collect all three points.

Sometimes people assume when you go 1-0 up in a contest and then the opposition go down to 10 men that you will run away with the game but it simply doesn't happen like that.

Teams tend to stick with two banks of four, while just leaving one striker up top and that is exactly what Blackburn did.

I said to the players at half-time to avoid conceding fouls because, with the opposition being a big strong side, their biggest threat would come from set plays where they could send their centre-halves forward and load our box up. However, thanks to some good performances, we coped well with that danger and saw the game through to the end to move out of the bottom three, which is all-important.

It was also good for Heurelho Gomes to keep a clean sheet and I was delighted for him. He needs all the encouragement we can give him because I know he will prove to be an absolute top-class goalkeeper.

Our home form has been great since I arrived here with five wins from five games but we all know we will face stiff opposition from David Moyes' Everton side this afternoon. David has built an excellent team - a strong, resilient outfit. They are always up there pushing the top group of teams and that is credit to the job David has done there.

Earlier on this season Portsmouth came away from Goodison Park with a 3-0 victory while I was still in charge, but Everton have shown some terrific form on their travels this year. The 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Monday was unusual for them. Everton do not lose many games and they certainly do not go too long without scoring, so we will have to be at our best today.

Looking back at the results of last weekend demonstrates just how hard it is to get a win in the Premier League. Not one of the teams who started in the top 10 won and this shows how much every victory counts and the league table certainly confirms this at the moment.

I keep saying it but this will be the tightest and most exciting Premier League yet and it is going to take the highest points total in a long time to stay in this league. The last day will be a bit like musical chairs - three teams will be without a seat and they will be the ones dropping through the trap door.

Harry's notes

That is why it is so important that we keep this run going, get ourselves up the table and away from trouble. We want to get into the top half as quickly as we can and then we have to make sure we stay there.

Today's game will see Tony Parks in the home dugout for the first time and I am delighted to welcome him back to the Club after he officially started work yesterday and, with the help of Pat Jennings and Perry Suckling, we have an excellent team of goalkeeping coaches.

Everyone wishes Hans Leitert all the best for the future and I would like to thank him for all the work he did here, but I felt that we needed someone who had experience of the English game. We looked around and nobody came out better than Tony. His credentials are terrific. He played for Tottenham and knows what this club is all about - it is his club.

I would like to conclude by reminding all supporters about World AIDS Day which takes place tomorrow. Football is playing a pivotal role in many developing countries in educating and improving awareness of young people about HIV and how to protect themselves and their partners from infection. It is important we all support these initiatives. For further information please visit

Have a good afternoon.