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'Terrific character' - Harry

Posted on 19 December 2008  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp was delighted with how the lads transformed Thursday night's UEFA Cup clash against Spartak Moscow to progress to the last 32 of the competition.

'Terrific character' - Harry

Harry Redknapp was delighted with how the lads transformed Thursday night's UEFA Cup clash against Spartak Moscow to progress to the last 32 of the competition.

Trailing 2-0 at half-time, things were starting to get a little tense with news of group rivals NEC beating Udinese filtering through, but any fears were soon allayed as goals from Luka Modric - his first for the club - and Tom Huddlestone secured the point we required.

Forced into a number of changes, Harry saw his reshuffled side start reasonably well before a defensive mix-up allowed Artem Dzuba to open the scoring. The same player then doubled the lead and it looked an uphill struggle at the break.

The arrival of Aaron Lennon lifted the crowd at the start of the second half and the lads took complete control, thoroughly deserving their 2-2 draw and the point that secured second place in the group.

"I didn't think we played that badly in the first half, we started confidently and I thought we looked in good shape," reflected Harry.

"Suddenly we gave two diabolical goals away, that gave them a lift, they then looked dangerous and it set us back. Spartak looked bright once they settled into the game, they are great technically and clever on the ball.

"At half-time, if it had stayed that way, we could have been out of the competition but we showed terrific character to come back in the way we did in the second half, we had lots of chances.

"We exploited the space down their right-hand side because Gareth Bale kept walking into acres of space, David Bentley was coming off the touchline and left him loads of room, that caused them problems and Aaron had a couple of good runs.

"We had to raise our game in the second half and I thought we did that."