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Redknapp warns: don't underestimate Portsmouth at Wembley

PUBLISHED: 14:12 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 07 September 2010

HARRY Redknapp is warning his Tottenham side that they face another shock defeat if they underestimate his former club Portsmouth at Wembley. Spurs take on the Premier League s basement boys in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, and the Lilywhites are big f

HARRY Redknapp is warning his Tottenham side that they face another shock defeat if they underestimate his former club Portsmouth at Wembley.

Spurs take on the Premier League's basement boys in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, and the Lilywhites are big favourites to progress.

However Redknapp, who saw his side crash to a 3-1 defeat at Sunderland at the weekend, is urging players and fans not to be complacent.

"If you underestimate anybody you're in trouble. They've got a few injuries like us, but I'm sure a few will recover for the semi-final. They'll have a real go and give it everything," said the manager.

"You know what it's like - in a semi-final they'll raise their game anyway. It's going to be a great atmosphere at Wembley and they'll run and find an extra yard.

"I don't think they're the worst team in the division, I really don't. Circumstances have gone against them this year. They're dangerous, and when everyone's fit they're not a bad side.

"David James is still an England goalkeeper, the young lad [Marc] Wilson has done well. I went over to Ireland and signed him from Lisburn - he's developed and is worth decent money now.

"I'm sure [Kevin-Prince] Boateng will be fit for the semi-final and he's got terrific ability. Even Kanu has come out for a couple of games recently. He's capable of a performance and giving an hour. He's an amazing talent.

"[Frederic] Piquionne looks a good player too. I followed him a lot a few years ago and he went to Lyon for a lot of money. He's a dangerous player and they tell me there are other clubs waiting to sign him at the end of the season.

"In the main they've lost a lot of games that they should have won. They should have beaten us at Portsmouth this year, when Paul Hart was there. They battered us in the second half and we were hanging on for grim life at the end."

Two years ago Redknapp lifted the FA Cup with Portsmouth at Wembley and, as his former club take their final breaths in the top flight, he admits that Sunday's tie will have an added poignancy for him.

"I know what I did there. I went there when they were bottom of the Championship, got promoted in the first year, won the Championship and had a great run in the Premier League," he said.

"Portsmouth have been in this position so many times. They've been in the bottom division and come back. When [former owner] Milan Mandaric came in the doors were locked for business, and when I was there they had no training facilities.

"I had people like Teddy Sheringham and Paul Merson training where Sunday teams had played. Hopefully they'll find a new owner who cares and gets them back up again.


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