Harry: It's not my job to give Spurs reserves a break
HARRY Redknapp admits there is nothing he can say to reassure big-name benchwarmers like David Bentley, Alan Hutton and Michael Dawson. The Spurs boss has assembled a competitive squad which sits fourth in the Premier League...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp admits there is nothing he can say to reassure big-name benchwarmers like David Bentley, Alan Hutton and Michael Dawson.
The Spurs boss has assembled a competitive squad which sits fourth in the Premier League ahead of Wigan Athletic's visit to White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The manager sympathises with the likes of Bentley, who has only started one league game this season, but he is also unwilling to rotate his team and change his winning formula.
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"It's hard, what do you say [to players like Bentley]? 'I'm not playing you because Aaron's playing better'? You just say 'you've got to keep going, don't let your attitude drop, you've got to keep working hard'," said Redknapp.
"They can listen, but it doesn't help when they go home at the end of the day and think 'I'm not playing here, I need to be playing. I've been a big player at Blackburn, playing every week and now I'm not playing'.
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"He [Bentley] is not the only one, there's others here. Young Kyle Naughton - he's come from Sheffield United, and suddenly he's not in the team. He finds himself behind Alan Hutton and Vedran Corluka. And he's probably thinking 'I was playing at Sheffield, here I'm not playing'. Hutton's not been playing regularly either, he wants to play."
Redknapp is fully aware of the importance of the squad in modern-day football, but he admits that players often struggle to enjoy the club's success when they are watching from the dug-out.
But, while the 62-year-old concedes that he is keeping quality players on the sidelines at Tottenham, he is in mood to relinquish their services and offer them a route out of the Lane.
"They can't all play, that's the problem. When you've got a good squad you're going to have good players not in the team," he said.
"If you say to any player 'can you be a squad player?' they're all going to say 'no I'm not a squad player'. They all want to play, no-one's going to accept it.
"Michael Dawson has been fantastic, he wants to play. It's hard because every time he plays he's fantastic. But I've got four central defenders, how can I play them all? "Jonathan Woodgate is fit now, it gives me a big problem. But at any minute someone could get injured again and then you need them. That's why you need a squad.
"You couldn't say 'well I've got Woodgate and Ledley King, I don't need any other central defenders'. They've both got injury records unfortunately that can stop them playing. That's why you need that cover in the squad.