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Jul 31, 2010

Redknapp furious over timing of England friendly

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has launched a furious attack on the timing of England's friendly against Hungary and criticised his own club's "crazy" scheduling of "too many" pre-season matches.

• Redknapp wants experienced duo

The Three Lions face their first post-World Cup outing on August 11 at Wembley, just three days before the start of the Premier League season, when Spurs take on Manchester City.

Redknapp was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: "Can someone tell me why you have an international week the week the season is starting? Can someone tell me what that is all about? They've just been away as a group together to the World Cup. They're probably sick of the sight of each other and now they're going to have an international week before the first week of the season, before we play Manchester City and a European qualifier.''

Redknapp also had harsh words for those in charge of his own club, who put in place a pre-season schedule which included a tour of the United States and three tough home friendlies against Villarreal, Benfica and Fiorentina.

"We play Fiorentina on the Saturday (August 7), which is a nuisance, then they go off and play for their countries,'' said Redknapp. "I won't see them from Saturday night until Friday before we play Man City, not once. Why? What's the point of it? A meaningless friendly. The week before the season, when we should be training, working, getting organised for the first game, they won't be here. How can that be a way to prepare for the start of the season? Then you've got your fingers crossed that not too many come back injured.''

Redknapp believes Spurs have not helped their chances of getting into the Champions League group stages by scheduling such a tough pre-season.

"It's been busy schlepping around the place,'' he said. "We've just come back from a gruelling trip around America. It's crazy. And we pile more games in. The last thing we need is to be playing games. We need to train. I need to get the players on the training pitch because all we do is play and recover. We should be working in training. Too many games have been scheduled. I don't know whose fault that is. We play too many games.''

However, the Football Association have claimed England would be at a major disadvantage at the start of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign if they had not arranged a friendly for the middle of next month.

''England are by no means unique in playing a friendly match on 11 August, since it is an international date scheduled by FIFA, with almost every other nation playing on the same night,'' said an FA spokesman.

''With a qualification campaign for Euro 2012 beginning just three weeks later, it is an important friendly opportunity to prepare for the competitive games with Bulgaria and Switzerland.

''Not making use of this date provided by FIFA in the calendar would put us at a disadvantage over those countries we face in September.''

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