Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Redknapp: I Didn't Want To Leave, But Couldn't Turn Down Spurs

Harry Redknapp has revealed that leaving Portsmouth for Tottenham Hotspur had to be hardest thing that he has ever done, with the new Spurs manager claiming that he was initially going to turn down the North London club, but then had a change of heart and decided to replace the sacked Juande Ramos at White Hart Lane.

Redknapp, who kicked of his career as Tottenham boss with a win against Bolton Wanderers on Sunday also heaped praise on the people at the South coast club and the supporters of Pompey, with Redknapp revealing he has not slept since his decision to leave Fratton Park.

“I think walking away from Portsmouth has to be the hardest thing I've ever done,” he told the Portsmouth News.

“It was unbelievably hard to decide to move. I haven't really slept since I did. It was a difficult decision. On Saturday night I said I definitely wasn't going to go.

“I didn't want to leave. I love it here and I enjoy the life here. These are nice people and this is a great city.

“These fans are working class people like me and are fanatical about their football club.”

61-year-old Redknapp also insisted that he would have been criticised if he had not taken the Spurs job, with some labelling the Englishman afraid of the challenge of a big club after turning down Newcastle United last year.

“It's like anything in life. If I didn't go I would always get people saying I had no ambition like they said when I turned down Newcastle, he added.

“They would say I was quite happy to sit down on the south coast, lay around and enjoy my money.

“In the end, it was an offer I couldn't refuse. This time Tottenham came. So Newcastle have come and so have Tottenham. After the big four they are the next two big clubs.

“I couldn't turn down Spurs because it was too big a chance for me. It's not a money issue. I'm on no more money than I was here. I've taken it on for the challenge. I take on challenges and this is a big challenge again.

The new Tottenham manager is aware of the task in front of him at Spurs, with the club at the bottom of the Premier League and Redknapp declared that if Spurs were to get relegated he would be finished in football.

“I've taken over a team at the bottom of the league. If I get relegated 'I will be finished in football. That will be the end for me. But I've taken the challenge on.”

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