Red­knapp: I didn’t want Woody to go

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By BRAD THOMP­SON

TOT­TEN­HAM man­ager Harry Red­knapp has re­vealed that he did not want to re­lease Jonathan Woodgate – a player he rates as one of Eng­land’s best de­fend­ers when fit.

Woodgate’s in­jury-rav­aged three-and-a-half year spell at Spurs ended this sum­mer when he was al­lowed to join Stoke.

The cen­tre-half only made 65 ap­pear­ances dur­ing his time at White Hart Lane, but Red­knapp was still keen to keep hold of the 31-year-old.

He was thwarted by Tot­ten­ham chiefs, how­ever, who were not con­vinced that Woodgate de­served an­other deal, even on a pay-as-you-play ba­sis.

“I wanted to keep Jonathan. I wouldn’t have let him go,” said Red­knapp.

“I asked him to come back to train but the sec­re­tary said he couldn’t be­cause of the in­sur­ance. That was the prob­lem.

Gut­ting

“He was con­vinced he was fit again.

“It was gut­ting, but I can see the club’s point of view. He had barely kicked a ball in two years.”

An own goal against Sun­der­land aside, Woodgate has made a good im­pres­sion at the Bri­tan­nia Sta­dium and Red­knapp hopes the former Eng­land star can get back to his best.

“If he can stay fit he is one of the best. He and Led­ley King are up there with the John Ter­rys and the Rio Fer­di­nands of the world,” added Harry, who let Peter Crouch and Wilson Pala­cios join the Pot­ters this sum­mer too.

“I like Crouchy as well. He wasn’t one I was mad to get rid of,” Red­knapp said.

“Wilson’s deal was de­pen­dent on Crouchy go­ing. I was look­ing at the time to bring Gary Cahill in and we needed to raise money to do that, and bring in Scott Parker, so we ended up get­ting around about £20mil­lion for the two.”

SUP­PORT­ING ROLE: Owen has to watch most United games from the side­lines

CROCKY HOR­ROR SHOW: Woodgate

POTT LUCK:

Crouch

RE­GRETS: Red­knapp

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