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Tough decision - Harry

Posted on 26 September 2009  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp explained the thinking behind what he admitted was a tough decision to leave out Peter Crouch and go with Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe up front against Burnley - a decision that paid off handsomely as we triumphed 5-0 on Saturday.

Tough decision - Harry

Harry Redknapp explained the thinking behind what he admitted was a tough decision to leave out Peter Crouch and go with Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe up front against Burnley - a decision that paid off handsomely as we triumphed 5-0 on Saturday.

Crouchy scored a hat-trick against Preston in the Carling Cup on Wednesday but found himself back on the bench as the manager returned to the partnership that helped fire us to four wins out of four at the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign.

Robbie responded with a career-best four goals in a clinical display of finishing with Jermaine Jenas drilling home from 20 yards to make it 2-0 in the first half.

Further chances came and went as, most importantly, we returned to winning ways in the league after defeats against United and Chelsea.

"To leave Peter Crouch out after he scored a hat-trick and played so well at Preston wasn't easy, believe me," said Harry. "It was difficult decision and not one I enjoyed making. I found it very hard.

"I just felt the movement of Defoe and Keane would give their two central defenders more problems than the big man. That was the key factor.

"We had to pass the ball and get lots of movement in and around their two strong centre-halves who like to head the ball. I felt if we could get enough movement and get Robbie into those little holes where he can play clever passes we could open them up and that's how it went.

"I've never had such a difficult time picking a team. The goalkeeper, Gomes, came in at Preston and was fantastic. I stayed with Cudicini, but that wasn't an easy decision either.

"Overall it was a good performance and I was well pleased.

"I thought we played well, created lots of chances and to be fair, it could have been all over by half-time, we missed some great opportunities to finish it off then. Every time we went forward we looked dangerous.

"It's been a great week for us."

The only downside was an injury to Jermain Defoe that forced him off just before the hour mark.

Harry reported: "He dislocated his finger and they couldn't get it back in. He did it when he went through on goal and fell over. It was painful for him."