REDKNAPP'S WEST BROM WARNING
By Site reporter
Thursday 03 Apr 2008 21:17:57
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Harry Redknapp has issued the old FA Cup underdogs warning as the countdown continues to Pompey's FA Cup semi-final with West Brom - while his opposite number says the Baggies have nothing to lose.

Meanwhile, Pompey have marked the end of the selling of their 33,000 tickets for the game by defending the way they handled demand.

Redknapp has been talking about what it's like to be involved in FA Cup shocks as he drums into his team there will be no room for complacency against Tony Mowbray's Championship outfit on Saturday.

He told www.portsmouth.co.uk: 'I've been there, I know what it's like. I know what it's like to beat Manchester United when you are manager of Bournemouth and I know what it's like to lose to Wrexham when you are manager of West Ham.

'I know what happens on any given day. People raise their game and when that happens it's dangerous. We had a tough game with Preston. People gave me reports on Preston – I was told they were okay.
'Then I looked at them and saw them play against West Brom and they battled away.

'I knew how tough it was going to be. Other people thought we would beat them and wouldn't have a problem, but I knew we would.

'At West Brom they are all good players. There are lots of teams down below who on one day can turn in a fantastic performance. It's all about on the day, the adrenalin, the atmosphere. West Brom will be at it and we've got to be.'

Mowbray says he is not fazed by West Brom having been drawn against the one side out of the three they could have got that they probably wanted to avoid.

'You take what you get out of the hat,' he said. 'I’m happy it wasn’t Cardiff because I knew we were playing Cardiff this week and that wouldn’t have been a great scenario to play them a few days later at Wembley.

'But Portsmouth means it will be a great occasion as we can give them a very good game. I have total respect but if we’d played Barnsley we would have gone in as favourites and the potential negativity that comes out of that, without winning, could have flattened our season and been very demoralising.

'But if we win against Portsmouth then fantastic. If we lose then as long as we give a good account of ourselves to take out of the game and push on then that’s not necessarily going to harm us, as opposed to being deflated if we were to lose as favourites.

'It’s a no-lose situation, yet I genuinely think we have a great opportunity against a team who are sixth in the Premier League. Saturday isn’t just a day out for us - we want to go there and win.

'Lets hope we can give a good account of ourselves and make a good spectacle of it. Just because we’re playing Portsmouth I don’t see us necessarily as big underdogs. We deserve to be there.'

Meanwhile, Pompey say they believe they handled the demand for FA Cup semi-final tickets as well as could be expected.

Chief executive Peter Storrie talked about each phase of sales in some detail on www.portsmouthfc.co.uk and said some complaints were still being investigated.

He added: 'We feel really sorry for those fans who cannot get to Wembley – we wish we could have got enough tickets to satisfy everyone. But we have used a fair allocation system which has seen a wide range of our supporters obtain tickets for the match. Despite the problems that did occur, Ticketmaster were the only viable option.

'We are encouraged by the incredible support our fans have shown in their desire to see our team play at Wembley. We would also like to thank all our fans for this loyalty and, as we have said before, we have great things planned for the club and we want all our supporters to be part of it.'

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