Young team coped well - Redknapp

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Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp claimed his young side deserved a lot of credit for earning a point amid the white-hot atmosphere of PAOK Salonika's notorious Toumba Stadium last night.

Spurs survived a late onslaught to come away with a goalless draw in their opening Europa League Group A game in Greece. Redknapp's team, whose average age was 23, left with a point thanks to a brilliant performance from veteran goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

"I was pleased with performance, particularly in the first half. We kept the ball well," Redknapp said.

"That was an intimidating atmosphere out there. It was fantastic. You don't get that in many places in the world. The fans were incredible and they get behind their team."

He added: "The young players have never seen that before and it must have been a difficult experience for them, but I thought they coped very well."

Redknapp singled out diminutive teenager Tom Carroll, who was making only his second Spurs appearance, for particular praise.

"I thought young Tom Carroll did well in midfield," Redknapp said. "He's only a slight little boy but he's a lovely footballer - he works hard and has a great attitude. But they all did well."

While the young players like Carroll, debutant Yago Falque and Andros Townsend impressed, the top performer on the night was 38-year-old Cudicini.


The Italian made a series of vital saves at the death to deny the Greeks, but he was at fault when he brought down Stefanos Athanasiadis in the box to give PAOK a penalty. Lino scored from 12 yards but was made to take the spot-kick again and sent his shot wide.

Cudicini was booked for the foul, but Redknapp says the former Chelsea stopper thought he was hard done by.

He said: "Did Carlo foul him? He swears he never touched him. Carlo Cudicini says he didn't touch him."

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