Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has leapt to the defence of Bernabeu absentee Aaron Lennon.
Spurs' wing wizard missed Tuesday's Champions League quarter final, first-leg encounter with Real Madrid after falling ill prior to kick-off.
And following the 4-0 drubbing impacted by the early sending off of Peter Crouch, Lennon has come into criticism for his last minute back out.
The 23-year-old midfielder rubbished claims that he had 'lost his bottle' by using social networking site Twitter as the platform to give his side of the story.
In short, he stated he had been feeling unwell for several days, and pointed to antibiotics prescribed by White Hart Lane's medical team as the reason behind his ill health.
"No one is blaming Aaron for not playing. It wasn't Aaron's fault. He didn't bottle anything. The kid wasn't well," said Redknapp.
"He's been absolutely fantastic for us. I've got no problems with the kid whatsoever.
"He's normally chirpy in the dressing room before he goes out and I looked and he didn't look well. What am I supposed to do, send him out to play?"
Redknapp admitted that Spurs were affected by the withdrawal, and that it did force him to rethink the gameplan.
"He was key to everything we wanted to do, him and Gareth Bale were really where we were looking to cause problems to Real Madrid."
But the Tottenham boss is anxious not to dwell on what has happened as he looks to refocus his squad ahead of Saturday's home Barclays Premier League game against Stoke – a game vital to Spurs' hopes of finishing in the top four and securing Champions League entry for next season.
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