FULHAM (1) vs TOTTENHAM (3)
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp revealed his recovery from minor heart surgery could keep him out of action for up to five weeks but his side prospered in his absence yesterday, producing a spirited rearguard action to emerge from Craven Cottage with three points.
A seventh win in eight games looked likely to prove a formality at half-time with the visitors two goals ahead thanks to their wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
But a spirited Fulham comeback yielded an own goal from Younes Kaboul and Spurs were indebted to goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who preserved their lead on numerous occasions, before Jermaine Defoe’s deflected volley sealed matters with the last kick of the game.
Redknapp, meanwhile, had hoped to be back on the training pitch within two weeks of having been discharged from hospital last Thursday.
The 64-year-old watched yesterday’s events unfold from his Dorset home, rather than the stands as he had originally intended, and admitted there was no chance of him returning to work before the end of the international break.
He said: “Doctors recommend I shouldn’t even think about football for four or five weeks – but I’ll see how I go. I’m hoping to be back before then.”
In Redknapp’s absence first team affairs will be handled by his assistants Joe Jordan, Kevin Bond and Clive Allen, and the former admitted the tense nature of yesterday’s win would have done little to improve his boss’s health.
He said: “The last 30 minutes may have been a bit of a tester for him. But if he passes that, which I’m sure he will, hopefully he will be back a bit earlier.”
Defeat, meanwhile was harsh on Fulham, who peppered Friedel’s goal after the break and were denied a penalty in injury-time when Kyle Walker handled.
Manager Martin Jol said: “Today we had 28 attempts on goal. They had seven and scored three goals. I felt we really deserved a point. We are in a false position.”