Redknapp: Sloppy starts are killing Spurs on the road

Harry Redknapp is urging his players to stop their damaging habit of conceding early goals away from home as he prepares to take Tottenham to Old Trafford.

HARRY Redknapp admits he is baffled by Spurs’ stuttering starts away from home this season as he prepares to take his side to Old Trafford.

Tottenham found themselves 3-0 down within half an hour in their first away game of the campaign – the Champions League clash with Young Boys in Bern.

Spurs have since lost 1-0 at West Ham after a 29th-minute goal, and went behind after half an hour at Fulham’s Craven Cottage before coming back to win.

Redknapp insists that his side were properly prepared on each occasion, and he is particularly at a loss to explain why Tottenham conceded three goals in the opening 14 minutes of their last away game, against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

“I just think we’ve got to be switched on at the start of games,” said the Tottenham boss. “We went out and started so sloppily [against Inter Milan]. Everything that we showed the players in the afternoon on the videos was exactly what happened, and we were suddenly two goals down.

“We showed them the ball that cost us the penalty, we showed them that run. When they go out there they’ve got to think for themselves. You can tell them a million times and show it to them on videos but suddenly it happens anyway.

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“Is it because they’re overawed by the occasion and the venue? It shouldn’t be. They’re all world-class players, they’ve all played in World Cups and internationals. They’ve all been there and done it all, so it shouldn’t really have been a problem.

“I don’t know why, we just started sloppily for some reason. We’ve got to make sure that we don’t do that again. We don’t do it at home. We normally start well at home, but a couple of times away from home we’ve started badly.

“We did it at West Ham the other week as well, we came out sloppily again. We started badly and found ourselves in trouble early on.”

Spurs are unlikely to face the injured Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford this weekend. But, as managers, players and fans continue to voice their opinion on recent events surrounding the 25-year-old, Redknapp believes that the England striker would have struggled to find a better club.

“It’s up to the player. If you’re a footballer and you want to play, it’s your decision, but you can’t go anywhere too much better in the world than Man United, that’s for sure,” he said.

“When you’re playing for Man United you’re playing for the elite. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. He’s playing for a great manager there at a great club.”