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By ESPN Staff

Harry Redknapp to deal "severely" with partying players

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is set to punish players involved in a Christmas party organised behind his back last week and Robbie Keane's role as skipper could be under scrutiny.

Redknapp was furious to learn about reports of 16 of his squad travelling to Dublin days before he insisted they would not be allowed to celebrate excessively during the festive period. The Spurs boss will wait until after this weekend's Premier League trip to Blackburn before deciding what action to take.

"It was wrong and it will be dealt with. Severely. It will be dealt with,'' Redknapp insisted. "It's being dealt with internally and we'll keep it in-house. I will be dealing with it after the weekend. We've got a game to concentrate on - we'll sort the game out, then I'll sort them out. Believe you me, it will get sorted out.

"I'm not happy, I'd be lying if I said I was happy. I didn't know anything about the trip at all if I'm perfectly truthful but it's done now and will be dealt with on Monday morning.''

Keane was said to have orchestrated the trip near to Dublin, so Redknapp is likely to take a dim view if that is the case. Keane could find himself on the bench at Ewood Park as Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe combined well during the defeat of Manchester City on Wednesday. Redknapp did select Keane for the defeat to Wolves - four days after the Christmas party.

"It was the Tuesday and didn't affect the result against Wolves, we worked our socks off, but it doesn't make it right,'' Redknapp added.

Redknapp has taken a strong anti-alcohol stance, particularly after Ledley King's arrest outside a London nightclub, and believes Christmas parties should not be on the agenda.

"They are my views on it,'' he said. "They are more trouble than they are worth and it happens at every football club unfortunately. Every club has had problems with it.''

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce cannot understand the furore.

''There is nothing wrong with them enjoying a Christmas party,'' Allardyce said. ''What our problem is in this country, and not just in football, is that we are all far too politically correct. We are absolutely diabolical.

''What is wrong with a bit of controversy, what is wrong with a bit of fighting here and there, as long as you have stepped in and know that it is done in the right way, out of frustration and not personal vendettas.

''This is an emotional game, people get emotional and you want to see an emotional reaction. The trouble with this country is we want people to be angels and then when they go on the field we want them to be devils. You can't have that.

''I don't like this country much when it comes to that. It has gone way too far and we should get back to how we used to be. It was much more enjoyable that way.

''You could have a tiff, you could have a barney and it didn't end up as a controversial subject in the papers with 'Ban him, stop him playing again', all that sort of rubbish that goes on today.

''But I ain't going to be able to change it. It has sneaked into football and I have to live with it. It is a great game, an emotional game. People will get upset and say things they shouldn't say. But that is why billions of people watch.''

The news of the party has overshadowed the way Spurs bounced back from defeat to Wolves with their performance against City, which Redknapp rated as their finest of the season.

Redknapp has also been boosted by King returning to training after a freak accident during a practice match that saw him injure his knee. The centre back could play one of Spurs' two games over Christmas.

"He's a great player,'' Redknapp said. "We need him back and fit playing and he could play one game over Christmas.''

Luka Modric, however, has suffered a setback in his recovery from a fractured fibula and has needed treatment on an ankle complaint, ruling him out of the Blackburn trip.


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