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We never gave up - Harry

Harry Redknapp's gamble paid off as we grabbed a vital point at Sunderland.

Harry Redknapp's gamble paid off as we grabbed a vital point at Sunderland.

The manager admitted he left us open to a late counter-attack from the home side as we piled forward in search of a deserved equaliser at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Roman Pavlyuchenko's introduction for Wilson Palacios left us with three at the back, three strikers and a forward-thinking midfield of Luka Modric, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Tom Huddlestone for the final eight minutes.

It paid dividends when Bentley released Bent down the right in the final minute and he crossed for fellow striker Robbie Keane to arrow home the equaliser.

"We ended up with three at the back and seven forwards!" smiled Harry afterwards. "There was always the chance that they would break away and score but we had to go for it.

"We had Bentley and Lennon out wide, Modric, Tom Huddlestone - they could have picked us off on the break but we had to take that chance, we needed to score."

Sunderland opened the scoring in the third minute but we dominated possession from there.

Ex-Spur Marton Fulop saved from Ledley King, Bent had two decent chances, Keane fired over and all the lads went up for a penalty when Phil Bardlsey appeared to handle Aaron Lennon's cross.

Sunderland also had a couple of chances - Cisse fired into the side netting and then somehow failed to connect with Andy Reid's cross - but few could argue we deserved a point at least.

"I thought we dominated the game from the second or third minute," added Harry. "We were camped in their half and had all the possession but couldn't quite open the door.

"We had some good chances, got into some great positions but couldn't finish them off.

"In the we got what we deserved - it was important we didn't lose today."