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The Toe Poke

Redknapp plays down Midas touch at Spurs

Harry Redknapp has played down his role in Tottenham Hotspur's impressive revival since his arrival at the club and insisted that his players' new-found confidence is simply a result of him talking to them.

Spurs notched their first away win of the season on Sunday when two goals from Darren Bent gave them a 2-1 victory over Manchester City. The result saw the club leap from bottom of the Premier League table to 16th spot.

Since Redknapp's arrival from Portsmouth two weeks ago Spurs are unbeaten in five matches, but he said: ''I am not sure what I have done. I have just got to know them, talked to them and encouraged them. I have told them to be confident.

''We have lots of players, who can play and I have tried to make the training ground a brighter place. You should see our dressing room after this game, it is as if we have won the cup.

''Bent is in great form. It is fantastic for him he is already on 11 goals and important for us to get off the foot of the table,'' Redknapp added.

''A few weeks ago we had only two points and that was scary. We could have been cast adrift. But the whole league is so close apart from the top four, who are clearly the best teams.''

Tottenham recorded their worst ever start to a season under the stewardship of Redknapp's predecessor Juande Ramos, who managed to amass a paltry two points and five goals from eight Premier League matches.

Sunday's match at Eastlands was a dramatic encounter with referee Mike Dean sending off three players - City's Gelson Fernandes and Richard Dunne as well as Benoit Assou-Ekotto of Spurs - after Robinho opened the scoring with a close-range finish.

City have now won only one of their last seven league games and lie one point clear of the relegation zone.

Hughes was disappointed with the manner of the defeat, and said: ''The referee should have been prepared to take the conditions into account but he was not prepared to do that.

''I thought Gelson's second yellow card was harsh as the referee should have given him the benefit of the doubt. It has hurt us badly. As for Dunne's sending-off, it was a coming together of bodies and you hope common sense would prevail.''


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