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Fantastic first half - Harry

Harry Redknapp described our first half performance in Saturday's 3-2 win against Stoke as 'a pleasure to watch'.

Harry Redknapp described our first half performance in Saturday's 3-2 win against Stoke as 'a pleasure to watch'.

The lads were back to their free-flowing best in that opening period at the Lane.

Luka Modric and fit-again Tom Huddlestone pulled the strings in midfield, Gareth Bale tore up and down the left and Peter Crouch buried two textbook headers.

Modric also scored a fine solo goal and we should have been out of reach - but somehow we only led 3-2 at the interval as the visitors pulled two goals out of the hat.

Matthew Etherington scored a fine solo effort in Stoke's first serious attack to make it 2-1 and then Kenwyne Jones hit a screamer into the top corner for 3-2 just before the break after we'd lost possession.

That made for a somewhat nervous end to the game as Stoke piled into our box in the latter stages.

However, Heurelho Gomes stood firm and Crouch made a couple of key defensive headers to secure a first win in five in the Premier League and keep us very much in the hunt for fourth place.

"I thought the first half was top-class," said Harry. "The football was absolutely fantastic. It was a pleasure to be in the stadium to see it.

"It was everything I love to watch in football. We moved the ball, we made angles, passed it great.

"I couldn’t have enjoyed watching us more than that.

"We got three goals but Stoke kept coming back and having dominated from the first to the last minute of the first half, we found ourselves only 3-2 up.

"Stoke made it difficult for us. I knew that second goal would give them a lift and they went for it.

"They are a difficult team to beat and you have to be at your best to deal with them.

"We had to hang on at the end at times but you know that because they are the strongest team in the league on set-pieces. You know you will have to defend and Crouchy came back and won a couple of great headers in our box in the last couple of minutes.

"I was delighted to win and especially delighted with how we played in that first half."