Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says English talent in short supply

13 March 2009 09:16
Aston Villa v Tottenham HotspurKick-off: Sun Mar 15, 4.00pm; Villa Park, BirminghamTV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD1Radio: BBC Radio Five Live (second half only)

Redknapp takes his side to Villa Park this weekend looking for a victory that would assuage remaining relegation fears and put a dent in Villa's push for a top four place in an excellent season in which they have consistently fielded a high proportion of English players.

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Tottenham themselves boast a core of English players in their current squad, with Aaron Lennon, Jermaine Jenas, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Michael Dawson all important to the club's future.

However, Redknapp admits a return to the policy under former manager Martin Jol of buying young local talent is unlikely in the near future.

'If I could find good, young English players, I would, but it is very, very difficult,' he said.

'You can go out and make a point of buying English players, but if they're not good enough, it's a waste of time. I do think there is a dearth of top young English players.

'We're certainly not overloaded. I think the group of players we have in the national team at the moment are the best we have had for a long time. But I fear that they are also the best we will have for some years to come.'

Should Tottenham get relegated this season, Redknapp admits he would feel compelled to leave the club, though is confident such a scenario will not come about.

'That's how I would feel, but I don't see that happening.' he said. 'I don't see it as an issue. When I took over, I was very confident we would stay up, and I still am,' he added.

Meanwhile, Redknapp has been assured about his safety when he returns to Villa Park for the first time since a 50 pence piece was thrown at him from the crowd there towards the end of a match with Portsmouth back in October.

The coin missed Redknapp but struck instead a linesman, Phil Sharp, and Redknapp's opposite number, Martin O'Neill, appealed for the home crowd to channel their energy in a positive way for the team.

'I'm sure that the people around the dugout area will be aware of it and I'm quite sure security will be strong,' O'Neill said.

'The relationship between crowd and players in this vital run-in is of the utmost importance. Crowds can get agitated very quickly, although I don't think our crowd has had too much to be agitated about this season.

'There will be twists and turns, ups and downs in games, and it's important the crowd stays with the team throughout everything. That's absolutely vital. It's so, so important.

'I have said many times in the past that fans who pay their money have a right to voice their opinion but I think now, more than ever, it is essential we have a genuine team effort.

'This is about crowd and players teaming up together. We must work hard together to stay in that top four.'

 

Source: Telegraph