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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 18 January 2009  - 12:00

As part of our pre-match build-up to home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's exclusive column direct from our official matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our pre-match build-up to home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's exclusive column direct from our official matchday programme.

NOT AT THE LANE? - You can buy individual copies of the programme online by CLICKING HERE...

HARRY'S NOTES v POMPEY, JANUARY 18

Looking back at our last match here against Burnley you could never have predicted the eventual outcome when the teams came in at half-time.

Burnley started the game with one striker and five across the midfield and it was working for them. We employed two wingers out wide but they were breaking and passing through us with the additional man they had in midfield. Burnley had us on the rack and deserved their one-goal lead.

I said to the lads at the break that the fans would accept you making mistakes and giving the ball away but what they will not stand for is when you do not chase to get the ball back when you lose it or not run your socks off. Supporters pay their money to come here and expect to see us put in a performance.

We had to show what we are made of because we were under pressure and I knew that I would find out an awful lot about the players in the second half. The response was fantastic. We looked a different team - we pressed them, we put them under pressure, we passed the ball, we moved off the ball and we got our rewards. That is what we expect every week from the team

At 4-1 I do not want to say that the tie is dead but we have put ourselves in a strong position to finish the job ahead of Wednesday's return leg at Turf Moor and if we fail to do so I will be extremely disappointed.

Last weekend, for the third away game in a row we were undone by a late goal, this time at Wigan Athletic. We started well enough and passed the ball around well but then we stopped and once you start giving away possession you invite pressure. Although we didn't play with the quality I feel we are capable of, it looked a banker draw. The only way I could see us conceding was from a set play and that is exactly how it turned out.

We have got to learn not to get beaten in these circumstances because one point is always better than none. We must pick ourselves up now and begin to put another run of results together in a similar fashion to the fantastic start we made when I first arrived because it is still so tight down at the bottom.

Harry's notes

Today we face another tough game against a club that holds great memories for me. I would like to offer a warm welcome to Tony Adams and everyone who has made the trip to White Hart Lane today from Portsmouth.

I had great times there and loved every minute of it because it is a great club. However, the time was right to move on and I have no regrets. Tony wanted to get into management and I promised him that opportunity when he first joined me at Portsmouth two years ago, so I think it was a move that was good for everybody. I am still in contact with a lot of them because we are all friends.

I am proud to have helped Portsmouth to their first FA Cup triumph in 69 years as we did last season, to have finished in the top half for the past two seasons and to have left them with a top group of players. They are a big, strong side with great pace that will prove difficult opposition to beat. They have a terrific goalkeeper in David James, powerful centre halves and a right-back who loves to get forward, while Peter Crouch will always pose a threat up front.

This is a big game for both clubs so it is vital that you all get behind the team today because we need all the support we can get. Enjoy the game by all means but what we do not want is a repeat of what happened at the reverse fixture back in September. I know it was only a small minority that were involved in the obscene chanting at Fratton Park but we have seen how the police reacted to this and why there is no place for it in football.

We have a fantastic following at this club so let's make sure that come the final whistle today we are making headlines for all the right reasons.

Have a great afternoon.