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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Harry unhappy about fan abuse at Villa

Aston Villa will launch an investigation should any official complaint be made by Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp into the behaviour of fans situated behind the visitors' dug-out during Saturday's match at Villa Park. Redknapp was seen to be involved in several exchanges with supporters and accused them of 'filfthy and abusive' language during Pompey's 3-1 success on Saturday. But Villa insist their supporters have a general reputation for being well behaved. Villa club spokesman Phil Mepham said: 'If Harry Redknapp or Portsmouth make a complaint to us then we will consider what is said and make our investigation. 'There are stewards behind the dug-out area and they are trained in all types of security. We would really need to see the degree of the complaint before we could go any further. 'As a club we would say that this does not reflect the general behaviour of our supporters who have a good reputation. 'Under the new ownership of Aston Villa, a real effort is being made to make our supporters feel more part of the club with a number of inititatives brought in this season.' Villa manager Martin O'Neill did not hear the alleged comments made towards Redknapp but conceded they should not be acceptable at any ground. He said: 'I didn't hear what was said but, if there have been chants emanating from the children's area with bad language, then that should not be tolerated anywhere. 'Everyone expects banter and no-one will ever be able to prevent it. When you go to any away ground then you expect to take come kind of abuse. 'Every England player knew they were going to be in for some after the defeat against Croatia. It's something which happens.' Redknapp claimed: 'You've got people stood behind you, who have got their kids with them, shouting filfth. I didn't bring my kids up to talk like that. 'Do we have to accept that? It didn't happen when I was a kid. There was none of this nonsense going on. Maybe I shouldn't get upset but I do. 'I didn't get brought up by my family to behave like that and I don't expect other people to behave like that. 'What upsets me is someone there with a little boy making filfthy gestures. That's what hurts me. He can shout what he likes at me. I just think it stinks and he should be ashamed as a parent to do that in front of kids.'