TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp is poised to return to the dugout for tonight’s Premier League visit of Aston Villa with an endorsement from World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst ringing in his ears.
Redknapp has missed the last two Spurs games after undergoing heart surgery but has been given the all-clear to resume managerial duties as the north Londoners seek a fourth successive league win.
And Hurst, whose goals famously helped England to glory in 1966, has added his voice to the clamour for Redknapp to succeed Fabio Capello as national team boss when the Italian leaves his post later this year.
“Having had two foreign coaches who haven’t achieved much, I’d give someone from this country a go,” said Hurst. “Harry Redknapp would be my choice. He can manage players and he is popular with the press, which helps take the pressure off.”
Redknapp confirmed his intention to resume control of the first team last night. He said: “I feel fine, I’ve got more energy than I had before. I’ll be on the bench for sure. I feel better than I did three weeks ago.”
Speculation that Redknapp could quit surfaced following his health scare, but Spurs assistant manager Kevin Bond, a long-time associate of the 64-year-old, insists he never imagined his absence would become permanent.
“There was no way Harry was going to quit after his heart operation. You have your bad moments in football but I don’t think it will have occurred to him to walk away,” said Bond.
“A bad moment wouldn’t last long with Harry. There is pressure but he’s been doing it for a long time and has learnt to live with that pressure. He loves it and would be lost without it.”
Villa arrive at White Hart Lane without an away win in the league since last season, although that did come in north London at Arsenal in May, having drawn four and lost one on the road this term.