Redknapp pays the penalty

Murphy eases Fulham through as Spurs boss says hopes of signing a striker look to be over


TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp admits he’s run out of time to bolster his side’s forward line with the addition of Newcastle’s Andy Carroll or Atletico Madrid’s Sergio Aguero.

Redknapp watched Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch fire blanks again in a humiliating FA Cup defeat at Craven Cottage as two penalties from Danny Murphy, a Brede Hangeland tap-in and a fine solo strike from Moussa Dembele, all before half-time, did the damage.

Defensively, as the scoreline suggests, the visitors were a shambles, but they were no better up front where Defoe and Crouch, who were given 45 minutes each, failed to test David Stockdale.

With Defoe yet to break his Premier League duck this season and Crouch having only a solitary strike against Blackburn to his credit in the bread and butter stuff, Redknapp was expected to invest in another forward this January.

Carroll, who has struck 11 times in his first full season in the top flight, has emerged as Redknapp’s top target and was reported to be the subject of a failed £23m bid last week.

But the Tottenham manager, who has allowed Robbie Keane to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season, denied any knowledge of his club’s pursuit of Carroll.

“I never made a bid for Andy Carroll. Maybe the chairman did but I never did. Nobody has told me we’ve made a bid,” said Redknapp, whose club had a £38.5m bid for Atletico’s Aguero turned down last night, according to the Spanish club. “We won’t get a striker in.”

Spurs are also facing up to a defensive crisis with Redknapp revealing that Younes Kaboul faces and operation, William Gallas is playing with an injury, while Michale Dawson (inset) is suspended following the professional foul which ended yesterday’s match as a contest in the 13th minute.

“We are down to two central defenders,” Redknapp added. “Kaboul is having an operation on his knee and could be out for six weeks. William Gallas has a hip injury.”

Dawson’s poor backpass had already contributed to the concession of the first penalty – converted by Murphy in the 11th minute after Clint Dempsey had been felled by Alan Hutton – and he gave away the second, hauling back Dembele, leaving referee Phil Dowd with little option but to dismiss him.

Hangeland nudged in the third after 23 minutes and Dembele rounded off the scoring with a memorable strike from just outside the penalty area in first-half stoppage time.

Delighted Fulham boss Mark Hughes said: “We wanted to make it hostile coming out of the blocks for them and we managed to force a few errors from their defenders and we capitalised on those situations.”

Non-league Crawley handed Man United
CRAWLEY TOWN, the first non-league side to reach the FA Cup’s fifth round since 1994, have been handed a plum draw away to top flight leaders Manchester United.

West Ham v Burnley
Notts Co/Man City v Aston Villa
Stoke City v Brighton
Birmingham v Sheff Wed
Leyton Orient v Arsenal
Everton/Chelsea v Reading
Man Utd v Crawley Town
Fulham v Bolton/Wigan