Redknapp aims dig at Nugent
Harry Redknapp has revealed it was not his decision to sign striker David Nugent as Portsmouth manager.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 26/09/09 1:59pm
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has revealed it was not his decision to sign striker David Nugent when he was at Portsmouth.
Redknapp, who left Fratton Park to take over at Spurs last season, welcomes Burnley to White Hart Lane this weekend, with Nugent looking to haunt his old manager having joined the Clarets on loan.
The one-time England international struggled at Pompey under Redknapp and the Spurs manager has divulged that the former Preston man was not on his wish-list when he was at the helm in the South Coast.
"Of course I did my homework before I signed him," said Redknapp. "To be honest with you, if I'm truthful, I was trying to sign Nicolas Anelka from Bolton at the time.
"And the owner of the club didn't want Anelka and for some reason he fancied, he heard of Nugent.
"And I had good reports from some people I worked with who fancied Nugent and I went with it. I'm not saying anything now because we all make mistakes.
"But I'm quite happy to say to everybody I wasn't convinced when I took him that I was making the right move."
Redknapp suggested Nugent's failings at Portsmouth came from the striker's lack of focus while at Fratton Park.
He added: "He needs to dedicate himself to his football, he hasn't proved me wrong no matter what he does, he won't prove me wrong, he won't change my opinion."
Redknapp also remains adamant on his opinion that there should be a zero-tolerance attitude towards racism in football and feels fans hurling abuse at players and managers should go to prison rather than face bans from the game.
Redknapp experienced intimidation from fans when he moved to Southampton from rivals Portsmouth - and he has been disgusted by recent incidents and allegations on the pitch.
West Ham striker Carlton Cole claimed Millwall fans made monkey chants at him earlier in the season, while this week Blackpool's Jason Euell accused a Stoke fan of racial abuse.
"That is disgusting, there's no place for that in the game," Redknapp said. "When I was a player at West Ham we had that every week with Clyde Best because he was a black player. It was disgusting.
"He was a fantastic fella and a great player and he was the first real black player to really, apart from maybe Albert Johanneson, to make it. But it's all over, surely we can't have that sort of behaviour.
"Anyone who does it should be put to prison - not banned from football. Stick them where they belong in the nut-house somewhere. It's wrong."