Redknapp reveals his worries as Spurs prepare for pitch battle in Donetsk

19 February 2009 09:21
Tottenham

boss Harry Redknapp is fearful of losing players to injury tonight against Shakhtar Donetsk on a pitch he deems unfit for non-league football.  

It has added to Redknapp's worries as he prepares for a period of six games in 17 days, starting with the UEFA Cup clash in Ukraine.  

'I'm not blaming the pitch, but it's just a poor pitch,' he said. 'That's what you will get out here this time of year. You wouldn't play on a non-league pitch like that.'



Testing times: Redknapp has a busy schedule to contend with

Redknapp has left five senior players at home as he prepares for a 'crazy' fixture pile-up.  

Spurs have the Carling Cup final on March 1 so the last-32 clash at RSK Olimpiyskyi tonight is not Redknapp's priority.  

Redknapp has left the likes of Jonathan Woodgate and Luka Modric in London as a result.

Aaron Lennon, Carlo Cudicini and Wilson Palacios were not risked either, while Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko are cup-tied.  

Eight youngsters have travelled to Donetsk and 17-year-old Dean Parrett could start against the Ukrainian champions.  

'It's crazy the way they have piled the fixtures,' Redknapp said. 'After this we've got three weeks between every game.'  

Point to prove: Chimbonda

Redknapp admits there was little he could do about the UEFA Cup clash against Shakhtar, with the return leg three days before the Wembley showpiece against Manchester United.  

But he is upset about travelling to Sunderland for a rearranged clash on March 7, adding: 'The Sunderland game? They could have arranged that easily.'  

Pascal Chimbonda is in the frame to make his first start since rejoining Spurs from Sunderland in the January transfer window.  

The 29-year-old wants to atone for his penalty miss against PSV Eindhoven last season when Spurs crashed out of the UEFA Cup after a shoot-out in Holland.  

'A lot of big players miss penalties, that's part of life,' said the full back. I don't regret anything. But yes, it makes me more determined to do well this year. I'm stronger this time.'

Meanwhile, Redknapp is optimistic skipper Ledley King will be fit for the Carling Cup final after his hamstring injury.  

'I'm hopeful he'll be okay,' Redknapp said. 'It's sort of day to day. He's had a hamstring, he's got that knee problem, but he's a fantastic player when he's fit.

'We're just hoping that he continues his recovery. We'll monitor ahead of the weekend and we'll see how he looks next week.'

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Source: Daily_Mail