REDKNAPP'S CALL TO STRETCHED SQUAD
By Site reporter
Thursday 16 Oct 2008 22:40:00
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Harry Redknapp has called for a few more helpings of the spirit that saw off Stoke as Pompey begin another fixture-packed fortnight.

Pompey came through seven games in 23 days pretty well recently, and now after another break from domestic football, they go into a schedule of five games in 15 days - starting at Aston Villa on Saturday.



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Redknapp has been impressed at how the squad have stood up to the task so far, and is hopeful they will be resilient enough to come through the next phase of matches with some good results.

The Blues go to Braga on Thursday, host Fulham the following Sunday, go to Liverpool on October 29 and welcome Wigan on November 1.

Redknapp told The News: 'I thought it was a fantastic effort to come out and play like they did against Stoke after the amount of games they'd played. They were brilliant and it shows terrific character because playing Thursday and Sunday really is a big ask.

'Before the game I asked a few of them how they felt. If they were tired I would have left them out, I could have made one or two changes if needed. No doubt they were tired, but they were all ready to go again. That shows character – pure and simple.

'To come back to Portsmouth from Portugal and win again was a fantastic effort on their part. The character has always been there. We showed it last year when we finished eighth and won the FA Cup.

'Sol Campbell, what an influence he had, what a three games he's put in recently. He was outstanding again against Stoke. If it was another club playing on the Thursday and we were meeting them on the Sunday, I would have been happy with that.

'Tony Pulis felt it was a great opportunity for them. I know he did because he told me.'

Redknapp reiterated his belief that the Premier League had to remain Pompey's priority, however long they lasted in the UEFA Cup.
'Europe is a bonus for me – the league position is all important to me. We have got to be very careful in the Premier League this year I think,' he told The News.

'There are so many sides who have spent money. It's become harder than ever. You've definitely got to keep your eyes on what's happening in the league. We have got to be careful. Europe is a lovely bonus for me, I have always said that, but it's about the league.'

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