Redknapp wants more of the same after vital win

Date published: Monday 1st May 2017 12:03

birmingham boss harry redknapp 2

Birmingham caretaker manager Harry Redknapp is asking his players for a repeat performance at Bristol City following their weekend win against Huddersfield.

Birmingham certainly kept their fans on tenterhooks before emerging with the win, achieved after they had missed a penalty and been reduced to 10 men inside the opening 25 minutes.

But Birmingham could not be faulted for effort as they carved out only their third win in 24 League games with a first-half goal from Jonathan Grounds and a Craig Gardner penalty in the 75th minute.

It leaves them two points clear of Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, with an inferior goal difference, and Redknapp said: “We need to win in our last game at Bristol to avoid relegation.

“We have a two-point advantage so a point will make no difference. We simply need three points but it all depends upon the results of the other clubs.”

Reflecting on the difficult opening to the game, Redknapp said: “We needed a good start but having missed a penalty and then the sending off was a big blow.

“It was a harsh decision and from then on I thought we were in trouble. But we showed unbelievable character to win the game.

“A full house was a big bonus and made such a difference. They dragged every ounce of effort of the players. I could not be more proud of the players with this performance.”

Huddersfield, having already secured a top-six place, made 10 changes to their side to rest players for the play-offs.

But Redknapp said: “It is Huddersfield’s business what they do.

“They have got to the play-offs and it is not their fault other teams are in a relegation battle. Why should they take care of us or Blackburn, Nottingham Forest or anyone else?

“Their manager’s job is to get his players right for the play-offs. He cannot be worrying about other teams. I did exactly the same thing when I was QPR for the last two games.”

Huddersfield’s manager, David Wagner, defended his decision to make changes.

“At Wolves I made five changes and everyone knows my rotation policy is part of my idea in a busy Championship,” he said.

“Changes were necessary with our thoughts to the play-offs as no one knows what will happen over the next month.

“It is unfair talking about my starting XI because I wanted fresh players.

“At the moment we are not getting consistent results but we have been able to stay in the top six and progress to the play-offs for the first time in 45 years.”

All looked to be going well for Wagner’s fringe players in the early stages and he said: “I was disappointed we didn’t take advantage of the situation early in the game.

“When the goalkeeper saved the penalty I thought we were on the right way. We were very calm and took the noise out of the crowd. Unfortunately we allowed them back into the game with some stupid fouls.

“We were unable to break them down even when we had some good opportunities but we never hit the target and have to accept the result.”

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