Football

Harry hoping for happy return

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Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is hoping for a warm reception from West Ham supporters when he returns to Upton Park on Monday.

Redknapp was Hammers boss for seven years, bringing the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole through the ranks and signing Paolo di Canio - but is unsure how fans will react now he is with bitter rivals Spurs.

"I've been back with Portsmouth a couple of times and got a fantastic reception," said Redknapp. "I would hate that to change because the club will always be very close to my heart."

He added: "I went there at 15 years of age and it's a very special football club, it always will be.

"I've got so many friends who are West Ham supporters, I've got loads of memories about going there at 15, growing up there and going back to manage them. It's a great club."

Redknapp is no stranger to fierce rivalry; when he moved from Portsmouth to Southampton he was reported to have hired a bodyguard for his first trip back to Fratton Park.

"Nothing would compare to Portsmouth and Southampton," Redknapp admitted.

Aside from Redknapp being in the spotlight, the match is important for Spurs to climb towards mid-table after a positive start under their new manager.

"It's a very important game," Redknapp said. "We are where we are in the league and that is our main priority.

"West Ham is always a tough place to go. Monday night at Upton Park under lights means a great atmosphere and great support."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Portsmouth
Joe Cole
Football
Southampton
Premier League
West Ham United
Rio Ferdinand

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