Redknapp mulling over Woodgate future
Jonathan Woodgate could play his last match of a troubled spell at Tottenham on Sunday, with manager Harry Redknapp admitting that he is no closer to deciding whether to offer the injury-plagued defender a new contract when his current one expires this summer.
Woodgate signed in an #8million deal from Middlesbrough in 2008 and was a regular in Redknapp's line-up before he was hit by a serious groin injury that kept him out of action for 15 months.
The defender, who has been capped eight times by England, expressed his joy at returning against AC Milan in February, but his comeback was shortlived after it emerged that he had suffered an adductor muscle injury in the same match.
The former Real Madrid man has been dogged by injuries throughout his career but he is now back in full training and could feature in Spurs' last match of the season against Birmingham on Sunday.
Redknapp would be reluctant to let go of a man he considers as one of the most talented defenders in the league, but he admits his injury-prone career makes it difficult to justify offering him a new deal.
"It's a difficult one with Woody. His contract is up and he hasn't played for two years," Redknapp said.
"If we don't keep him then he is worth a gamble for someone on a pay-as-you-play deal because if you can get him fit you will have one of the best centre-halves anywhere.
"If I wasn't at Tottenham I would take a gamble on him. He could be a fantastic signing because he is training this morning (Friday) and he feels fit for the first time in two years."
Lifelong Birmingham fan Craig Gardner admits he would willingly swap his Carling Cup winners medal for Barclays Premier League safety.
Gardner is facing "the biggest game" of his career when he returns from suspension for the Spurs clash.
Blues are only above the bottom three on goal difference from Blackpool and Wigan, who visit Manchester United and Stoke respectively.
Nine-goal leading scorer Gardner told Press Association Sport: "It's a massive game. Everyone wants to play in the Premier League.
"The Carling Cup win was fantastic and it's something we will never forget. To lift a trophy for the fans and the club after so long was fantastic.
"But this game is our career, it's bigger than the cup final and we need to go out there and give it every single ounce for this club.
"On a personal level this has been my first full season at Premier League level and it's been a great season for me.
"But I'd give up every single goal now just to stay in the league. In fact, I'd give my winners medal back to stay in the league.
"If we end up in the Championship next season, it's a failed season for me.
"We owe it the fans, we owe it the gaffer (Alex McLeish). everyone owes it each other to go out there and put a performance on."
Gardner believes a lengthy injury list has taken its toll on City but is confident they can obtain a positive result at White Hart Lane.
He said: "To be honest, the injuries and suspensions have hit us hard in the last few weeks and I think we shouldn't be in this position.
"But look at West Ham, they've got a great team and they've already been relegated. It just shows you how good this Premier League is at the minute.
"It has been so tight all season and in the last few weeks we've been sucked into it.
"But we're good enough to get a result on Sunday. We are not going to roll over.
"Everyone has got the same attitude and we are going to go there on Sunday and give it every last little bit."
Defender Liam Ridgewell will also be available after suspension and McLeish is optimistic striker Cameron Jerome will have recovered from his ankle injury.
But doubts persist over the fitness of Lee Bowyer (hamstring) and Martin Jiranek (ankle) and they will have late tests.