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Praise for Carlo

Posted on 16 September 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp paid tribute to Carlo Cudicini after the goalkeeper's late heroics secured a hard-earned point at PAOK on Thursday night.

Harry Redknapp paid tribute to Carlo Cudicini after the goalkeeper's late heroics secured a hard-earned point at PAOK on Thursday night.

The opening match in Group A of the Europa League was a closely-fought contest in an electric atmosphere at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki.

Debutant Yago Falque had an effort cleared off the line in the first half before Harry Kane was denied a penalty and then the home side missed a twice-taken spot-kick.

It remained in the balance in the second half - Yago went close again - before PAOK built up a late head of steam.

Carlo's save of the night arrived with seven minutes remaining as he somehow managed to get down to Stefanos Athenasiadis' volley from 16 yards and scoop it up over the crossbar.

He was there again to deny the impressive winger Vieirinha in injury time, this time a sharp reaction save to his left to palm away a stinging volley.

And when Carlo was beaten in the final minute, substitute Vladimir Ivic's header hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out to safety.

Harry revealed it was a late decision to start with Carlo ahead of Heurelho Gomes.

"I just thought we'd be better with Carlo tonight and then next Tuesday I'm looking at Gomes to go to Stoke," he said.

"Carlo was excellent, top-drawer. He's a great trainer and a fantastic professional.

"He's been around and done it all and I was delighted with him.

"Gomes will get his games as well. I'll look to rotate the goalkeepers, but Brad Friedel has the jersey in the Premier League."

We face Liverpool in the Premier League at the Lane on Sunday before travelling to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke in the Carling Cup third round on Tuesday.