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'It should have been game over' - Harry

Posted on 24 September 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp believes Saturday’s victory at Wigan could have been made far easier had it not been for a lapse of concentration early in the second half.

Harry Redknapp believes Saturday’s victory at Wigan could have been made far easier had it not been for a lapse of concentration early in the second half.

After dominating the first 45 minutes and going 2-0 up through goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale, the home side were given a way back into the game by Mohamed Diame four minutes after the interval.

The goal came about through a failure to clear our lines at the back and meant we had to battle hard for our third straight Premier League victory when it could have been far more straightforward.

Harry said: “It was complete domination in the first half, we could have been four up and controlled that half from start to finish.

“Then we did exactly what I told them not to do at half-time, and that was get sloppy. We needed to keep the ball, pass the ball, but we gave a terrible goal away.

“It was a bad mistake, we tried to play our way out the box and you can’t always do that. Sometimes you’ve just got to clear your lines but we tried to be clever and gave a goal away and it gave them a lift.

“The home crowd went from moaning and booing them to getting behind them, and they suddenly started to find another yard and had a go. But Brad Friedel didn’t really have too much to do overall."

Harry continued: “Rafa got an early goal and we created three or four good chances, kept the ball fantastically and they couldn’t get near us.

“But they changed their system a little bit at half-time and the goal gave them a lift and something to go for, and they certainly put up a much more spirited display in the second half.

“The big guy [Connor Sammon] came on up front and they started to hit some balls to him and he battled away and they were trying to get some knock downs off of him and it made it more difficult, but we controlled most of the game.”

Harry had suffered a blow before the match when Jermain Defoe was taken ill over night, but admits his side is getting back to full strength.

The manager added: “There are players missing but that’s not far away from my best team. I’m not saying it is my best team, that wouldn’t be fair, but there are enough good players in there that would be difficult to lodge out of the team, so we’re very strong and have the makings of a real good side this year.

“Sandro came back today alongside Scott Parker and I liked that combination, it gave us some strength, so we’re looking strong.

“Rafa came in today. He’d been out with a hamstring but he did what he always does, scored a goal. He’s an amazing goalscorer.”