Sunday 26 February 2017

Redknapp defends poor Defoe display

TOTTENHAM 0 WEST HAM 0

Paul Hirst

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp defended Jermain Defoe's poor performance yesterday, revealing that the striker had been affected by the recent death of one of his grandparents.





Defoe went into the game with 99 Spurs goals to his name, but he failed to reach the century mark on this occasion after missing a host of good opportunities in a frustrating draw that means Spurs are now two points behind Chelsea in the race for fourth place.

The England striker reacted slowly to an Aaron Lennon shot, which rebounded off a post in the first half and failed to beat Robert Green from six yards in the second period, as Spurs had to settle for a goalless draw against their local rivals.

Defoe has had a poor season so far, and had failed to break his Premier League duck until scoring a brace in the club's 3-3 draw with Wolves two weeks ago.

Redknapp leapt to the defence of the man he has entrusted to deliver him goals on so many occasions throughout his managerial career, admitting that his grandparent's death affected his performance.

"Jermain was up half the night due to a family bereavement," Redknapp said.

"I wasn't sure whether to play him but he wanted to. He had some good chances today, the little fellah, and he normally scores them, but it was just one of those days. It wasn't through a lack of effort.

"He was bright, he was sharp, he just couldn't score but that's football. That's how it goes, another day he'll go and bang a couple in.

Tottenham rattled the woodwork three times in total and were wasteful at times in front of goal.

But they also had to contend with some fantastic goalkeeping from Green, who tipped Gareth Bale's late free-kick onto the bar when it seemed impossible to stop the ball going in.

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