Redknapp - We must push on
Pompey boss Harry Redknapp says his side deserved their win over Sunderland but hard work is ahead.
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 23/02/08 9:54pm
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has tipped Sunderland to avoid relegation after his side narrowly beat the Black Cats 1-0 on Saturday.
A penalty from Jermain Defoe in the 69th minute was enough to secure victory for Pompey and the win keeps their European hopes alive.
Redknapp had particular praise for Roy Keane's men but admits his side deserved the three points.
"They were difficult to beat. They came and, like all Roy Keane teams, they had a real go," he said.
"They worked hard and are a danger with the big fella (Kenwyne Jones) up front. It was a tight game and at half-time there had not been many chances at either end.
"We decided to get the ball through to (Lassana) Diarra and that paid off. (Niko) Kranjcar did some good things and played well. In the end I think we deserved the win.
"I don't see Sunderland going down at all, Roy has done a terrific job with them. They were solid, well organised and are good at home. They're home form should keep them in the division."
Kranjcar evaded one challenge before tripping over the foot of Phil Bardsley to hand the home side a penalty. Redknapp admits he could not see the challenge clearly but praised Kranjcar and Defoe for their efforts.
"I haven't seen it since it happened but no one seemed to complain too much. Kranjcar showed some excellent bit of skill but he did that all afternoon.
"He (Defoe) is a confident goalscorer and you did feel when he put it down that he would score. It was a nice goal for him."
Portsmouth's win moves them level on points with Aston Villa in sixth as they aim for a European spot but Redknapp concedes there are still tough times ahead.
"I'm delighted with the 44 points on the board at this point in the season. We've got to keep picking up points, six home games left, and we've got to make sure we get some good wins under our belts.
"It would be nice to get into a European spot at the end of the season. We have to keep on pushing on with six big games still to come.
"It's going to be tight. Everyone in that top group is capable of getting into Europe, from West Ham upwards."