Monday, March 7, 2011

Redknapp hopeful Bale will be fit for Milan

Redknapp hopeful Bale will be fit for Milan

Harry Redknapp hopes Gareth Bale will be fit for Tottenham's Champions League second leg clash against AC Milan after the Wales winger suffered a slight groin strain in the 3-3 draw at Wolves.

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale (L) fights for the ball with Manchester United's 

Bale came on as a second half substitute at Molineux on Sunday for his first appearance for six weeks after a back problem, but Redknapp revealed he finished the match nursing a groin problem.

With Italian league leaders Milan coming to White Hart Lane on Wednesday in an attempt to over-turn a 1-0 first leg deficit, Redknapp knows Bale's presence in his team would be a major boost to Tottenham's chances of making the last eight.

The former Southampton player was brilliant in Tottenham's two meetings with Inter Milan in the group stage and Redknapp hopes he will be fit to start.

"When Gareth came on and started to run with the ball, it was exciting. We've missed that for the last five or six weeks," Redknapp said.

"Hopefully he'll be okay for the Milan game and he seems all right after the game.

"He just felt the pitch was a bit heavy and his groin was a bit tight."

After watching his side miss a chance to move above Chelsea into fourth place, Redknapp admitted Spurs defender Alan Hutton was fortunate not to be sent off.

Hutton appeared to deny Nenad Milijas a clear goalscoring opportunity when he pulled him back inside the box at the end of the first half.

Referee Mark Halsey awarded a penalty but chose to only to yellow card Hutton.

Redknapp said he had not seen a re-run of the incident, but when informed by the media what had occurred, he conceded Hutton should have been dismissed.

He said: "There were bodies 70 yards away from me in the box and the ref has suddenly given the penalty.

"I didn't have a clue why he had given it because we couldn't see from the dug-out.

"I haven't looked at the video. But, if he pulled his arm, it must be a clear goalscoring opportunity. He is very lucky not to get sent off then."

Wolves were also aggrieved to have a Richard Stearman effort ruled out for a foul on Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes.

But Redknapp claimed: "I thought that was a foul. He was looking at Gomes and not the ball."

Jermain Defoe netted his first and second Premier League goals of the season, with Roman Pavlyuchenko also on target.

But two goals from Kevin Doyle and a late header from Steven Fletcher earned struggling Wolves a share of the spoils.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy had also not seen a re-run of the Hutton incident but said: "All I can say is if someone gets pulled back in the box and it stops them from scoring, then it should be a red card."

McCarthy was full of praise for his side's performance, though, even though they remain in the bottom three.

He said: "We deserved a point. Their third goal was down to gross stupidity from us but we played some terrific stuff."