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Harry ready to start Palacios again
Published : 22 Oct 2010 22:44:00Rss feed
Harry Redknapp has vowed to hand Wilson Palacios his first league start for six weeks following an ear-bashing from the midfielder's mother. Palacios was a virtual ever-present last season as Spurs qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history. A loss of form at the start of the current Premier League campaign has seen the Honduras international lose his place in manager Redknapp's first-choice XI. But the 26-year-old will be back in the side against Everton on Saturday after his mother intervened on his behalf during a chance encounter with Redknapp while out shopping in central London. "I met him out shopping with his mum the other day," Redknapp revealed. "She couldn't speak English but she was telling me through somebody else who was there that she'd come to England to watch him play and I hadn't been playing him. "And she was quite a big girl! So I've got to play him. "I wasn't going to mess with her, believe you me. "She didn't need a handbag; I reckon a right-hander would've been enough! "So I went, 'Don't worry, Mrs Palacios, he'll play, he'll play'." Nothwithstanding motherly love, Palacios' recall owes as much to necessity as anything else, with Tottenham taking to the field on Saturday barely 48 hours after Wednesday night's thrilling Champions League defeat at Inter Milan. The midfielder's combative qualities arguably were missed at the San Siro as Spurs collapsed in a calamitous first half that saw them ship four goals. Were Palacios to regain his form of last season, he could provide a very useful shield for Redknapp's injury-ravaged defence. The Tottenham boss said: "He's had a little dip in form, but he's a great guy, trains hard. "He'll come back; I'll play him tomorrow." Despite finding himself out of the side this season, Palacios has not once complained about his lot, according to Redknapp. He said: "He's come from a poor background, the kid, hasn't he? "He hasn't forgotten where his roots were. I think he loves being here, enjoys playing at Tottenham, playing in England - it's great for him." He added of Palacios, who was his second signing back in January 2009: "We wouldn't be where we are without Wilson, really. "When he came, I thought he turned us round." The same applies to Redknapp, who will complete two years at White Hart Lane on Monday. "The only thing that scares you is that it's another two years out of your life gone," said Redknapp, who quit Portsmouth to take the Spurs job. "When you get older, you think, 'Where's it gone?'. "It only seems 10 minutes ago that I was driving round Daniel Levy's house to meet him and, to be fair, not sure whether I really wanted to come here or not. "As much as it was a good move, I was really very happy where I was." Asked if he planned to celebrate the upcoming milestone, Redknapp joked: "I even forget my own (wedding) anniversary. I've got last year's card still in my car. I've got no chance!" Taking Spurs from the foot of the Premier League to the Champions League in less than two years is the biggest of Redknapp's achievements but another is transforming Gareth Bale from club jinx to hat-trick star. Redknapp immediately slapped a 'not-for-sale' sign on the 21-year-old after Wednesday night's 4-3 defeat at Inter and he revealed on Friday he spoke to chairman Daniel Levy on the subject following the game. Redknapp said: "He said, 'Oh, yeah, we're not a selling club, we haven't got to, we won't be selling'. "'We're not going to sell anybody and we're certainly not going to sell Gareth Bale'." Redknapp is considering moving Bale to left-back for Saturday's game and playing Luka Modric ahead of him. He also revealed captain Ledley King was unlikely to recover from a groin tear in time for the Champions League return game with Inter at the start of next month. But there was a boost in the shape of fellow defender Jonathan Woodgate, who is attempting the latest comeback of his injury-plagued career. "He feels a little bit better," said Redknapp. "You'd love to see him come back; it would be a fantastic bonus."