Harry: Pompey are focused
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Harry Redknapp insists Portsmouth will not be distracted by results elsewhere.
Harry Redknapp insists Portsmouth will not allow themselves to be distracted by results elsewhere as they prepare to face Wigan on Saturday.
The South Coast outfit have embarked on an astonishing run of form towards the end of the season that has seen them become the favourites to avoid relegation, and a win against The Latics, coupled with a draw or defeat for Birmingham as they host Newcastle, would guarantee safety for Redknapp's men.
West Brom are all but down as they require a minor miracle to haul back a six-point deficit with two games remaining, and Pompey are now in touching distance of retaining their Premiership status - a scenario that looked somewhat unlikely in early March.
However, Redknapp has made sure his side are only concerned with what they must do to beat Wigan, rather than casting an eye towards Steve Bruce's Blues.
"If we are winning, playing well, it's no good if you are losing, it doesn't matter what the others are doing like last week, we are just concentrated on what we're doing," Redknapp told Sky Sports News.
"We found out at the end of the [Sunderland] game that West Brom lost, Birmingham drew, but sitting there what can you do? It doesn't make any difference."
Redknapp also had words of praise for Latics counterpart Paul Jewell after a tremendous season for all concerned at The JJB Stadium.
Along with West Ham manager Alan Pardew, Jewell has led his promoted side to the top half of the table and a cup final, and Redknapp believes he is a clear contender to be named the Premiership Manager of the Year.
"The job he's done there has been absolutely magnificent and a week ago, two weeks ago I thought he was certain to be Manager of the Year this year in The Premier League," Redknapp added.
Left-sided star Matthew Taylor is currently the toast of Fratton Park after his late penalty kick secured a 2-1 win over Sunderland last weekend, but the former Luton Town man has played down his role in Portsmouth's survival campaign.
Although admitting he was delighted to score the goal, Taylor highlighted Pedro Mendes' superb effort against Manchester City on March 11, which kick-started a run of 17 points from eight games, as the most vital goal of Pompey's season.
"From a personal point of view it's nice to score the goal, from a collective point of view it's more important the team wins," said Taylor.
"I think the goal Pedro scored was the most important goal of the season up to this date."