Spurs boss admits to injury crisis ahead of Hearts clash
Modric and Huddlestone set to miss out
Harry Redknapp admits that Tottenham are facing a midfield injury crisis ahead of their Europa League clash with Hearts tomorrow night.
The Spurs boss is missing five middle men for Spurs’ opening game of the season in Edinburgh, and is only expecting 21-year-old Jake Livermore to be fit for the first leg of the European play-off.
“Tom Huddlestone’s got a problem with his ankle from last year when he had an operation – he missed the back end of last season,” said Redknapp.
“Luka Modric has got a groin problem, he’s not fit. Jermaine Jenas has got an achilles injury, Wilson Palacios is not going to be fit for tomorrow and Sandro is out long-term with a knee injury, so that’s five midfield players.
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“We’ve got one midfield player really and that’s Jake Livermore, a young lad who’s been out on loan. We like Jake, he’s a kid who’s played in the Championship on loan at several clubs, and he’s the only central midfield player who’s available tomorrow.
“We’ll try to invent a new formation with one midfield player, we’ll see how we go.
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“It’s an area that we’re looking at to improve and strengthen, and we’ve got one or two irons in the fire at the moment.”
Redknapp insists that he is anxious to progress past Hearts and into the group stages of the Europa League – but he concedes that he plans to field a weakened team in the competition if Spurs do qualify, with the Premier League campaign taking priority.
“The Champions League was a new experience for us and we loved it, it was great,” he said. “But we’re in this competition now and we want to get through this knockout stage if we can – and if we do that I would look to play some of the younger players in the group games, like everyone else has done.
“Liverpool did it last year. You can’t be playing the same players every Thursday night and then playing them again on the Sunday, or you’ll end up struggling in the league. The most important thing for me is the league. I want to get back into the Champions League.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs