Redknapp praise for tired players

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Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp celebrated three great results in a week after his £18.5 million strikers Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe grabbed the goals that beat Stoke 2-1 at Fratton Park.

A week ago the pair scored in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham before Crouch's two goals in extra time rescued his side in their midweek UEFA Cup tie against Guimaraes in Portugal.

"This run has taken a lot out of the players but they showed a great response," he said.

Redknapp made only two changes from the team which played into the small hours of Friday morning in Portugal - and one of those was suspended midfielder Lassana Diarra - and had special praise for captain Sol Campbell as well as his two front men.

The 34-year-old, disgracefully verbally abused by Spurs fans last Sunday, was impressive again and Redknapp said: "I thought he was absolutely brilliant.

"He's had a lot to deal with and he's a big lad who needs his rest but like the others he's just a great professional who gets on with the job."

On his goalscorers Redknapp added: "It was a fantastic finish by Crouchie for our first goal, great technique and he's been doing it all the time in training.

"Defoe just keeps looking for chances even after he misses. It was a great shot that hit the post but another terrific finish for the second goal."

Stoke's manager Tony Pulis, who was in charge at Fratton Park for 10 months in 2000, could only watch as Pompey's multi-million pound strikeforce did the business.

"That's why Harry has paid the money for Crouch and Defoe. The first goal was a fantastic finish and the second almost as good," he said.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City
Premier League
Peter Crouch
Sol Campbell
Jermain Defoe
Lassana Diarra

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