Portsmouth manager Redknapp rejoices FA Cup winMay 18th, 2008 - 1:09 pm ICT by admin
London, May 18, (DPA) Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp spoke of a “great day” at the end of “a difficult year” after his side beat Cardiff City to win the FA Cup and secure UEFA Cup qualification Saturday. Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu got the only goal of the game after 37 minutes, reacting first after the Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman had spilled a cross from John Utaka.
Redknapp was arrested in November as part of the Metropolitan Police’s on-going investigation into corruption in football and last month lost his sister-in-law Pat Lampard to leukaemia at the age of 56.
“My wife keeps me going,” he said. “Everybody goes through these tough few weeks, but you have to go to work.
“You’ve got to keep going. I can’t go in and look down. My job’s to go in there and make sure everybody’s up and not to feel sorry for myself,” Redknapp added.
Nonetheless, Redknapp was far from his usual bubbly self, presumably exhausted by the emotion of the occasion.
“It was important we got the result,” he said. “There’s glory in winning the FA Cup. In terms of football, keeping Portsmouth up when I went back there was a much bigger achievement, but it’s great to come to Wembley and win the Cup.”
It was Portsmouth’s first trophy since they won the league 58 years ago, and Redknapp acknowledges it will be difficult to take the club further, despite backing form the club’s owner Sacha Gaydamak.
“I do want to strengthen the team,” he said. “The owner has been fantastic in backing me, and if we can get the two or three targets in I’m after we can establish ourselves as a top-half team.”
The Cardiff manager Dave Jones insisted he was proud of his side. “I thought they did everything we asked of them,” he said.
“We took the game to Portsmouth. That was our best ploy. That’s the only way we can play and unfortunately we just failed.
“In the first half we had some good chances. (Paul) Parry should score when Glen (Johnson) slipped.
“I think that’s the little bit of luck you have. One mistake cost us the game - I thought we matched them and created half chances.
“In the second half, we really pushed and had a go, but Harry’s come away with the cup.”
Jones also suggested that his side’s achievement in reaching the final would make the competition harder to win in future.
“If I were chairman of club in Premier League I’d be wanting to know why Cardiff were there and we weren’t,” he said. “We’ve proved to other teams that they can do what they might have thought was impossible.”
He accepted that the game turned on Enckelman’s error, but refused to blame the goalkeeper.
“It’s something that happens,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that it happens in cup final.”
Enckelman was phlegmatic about his gaffe. “It was wet conditions and a slippery ball and it was one of those things,” he said.
“It wasn’t a bad ball he put in, it was a teaser. It was 50-50 whether to catch it or parry it and I got caught in two minds to be honest and should have done better to it.
“Credit to the cross but it could have fallen anywhere and it went straight to Kanu’s feet. It might have gone somewhere else and the defenders would have cleared but that
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