Date: 8th October 2008 at 11:53am
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Who is the man that Peter Crouch thanks for his England recall? None other than Harry Redknapp, with him becoming the latest in a long line to heap praise on the Pompey boss for reviving a career that was going stagnant…

The faith that Redknapp has in players and the ability to act as a ‘father figure’ often sees the best shine through, and Crouch attributes his resurgence in form, which has culminated in an England recall, to him: ‘Harry Redknapp has been a big help to me. I’ve played for Harry before and I felt he had got the best out of me so that was one of the reasons I joined Portsmouth.

‘I believe for the rest of the season he will get the best out of me and a lot in terms of my England recall is down to him.

‘Harry certainly builds up the confidence of players. For example, he tells me every day that I can be a world beater – and you start to believe it.

‘He is just an honest fellow. If you are rubbish, he will tell you as well. But, if you are playing well, he will tell you that.

‘It is nice to know. If you need to pull your finger out, he will certainly let you know but if you are doing the business, he will praise you.’

‘Crouchy the world beater’, it has a nice ring to it!

Redknapp is great at building up player confidence, unfortunately a trait of his that I do not like is the one where he seems happy to turn his back on some players and offers them little or no encouragement, or chance of playing – although maybe some of this is also down to the players in question as well? Perhaps they do not show the right commitment or attitude levels, so in a way get what they deserve – sometimes…

Either way, join me ‘Harry Redknapp’s blue and white army!’

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Talking of Harry Redknapp he has urged TV not to ruin our glorious moment when we take on Milan at Fratton at he end of November.

Our first ever game in European competition against Vitoria SC was tainted somewhat by the 6pm kick off time, which as much as the TV was to blame we did have to shoulder some as well, but then again we could not decline the money on offer could we… Then our return game in Guimarães saw us kick off at 9.35pm to accommodate TV – and ensure that 3 uefa cup games could be shown on the box that day!

The visit of the mighty Milan, one of the greatest clubs in world football, to Fratton is an almost crowning glory to the fantastic few years that we have had and the fear is that TV bosses could ruin this in someway by not giving us a prime TV slot. Redknapp told The News: ‘we’ve got a fantastic game, a dream tie, to put on for our fans and we need to make the best of it, with a 7.45 or 8pm kick-off.

‘We are looking for a memorable European night under the Fratton Park floodlights but we’ve already had two silly kick-off times.

‘It was still light when we started against Vitoria at Fratton Park and supporters struggled to get there from work.

‘Then in Portugal the players did not get back to the hotel until 2.30am after the game, just a couple of days before we had to play Stoke in the Premier League.

‘The league is always my priority. We are going well again after a tough start this year but you’ve always got to watch your position because it’s a very tight competition, tighter than ever.

‘But AC Milan in a European competition is a one-off occasion. That should be a fabulous night.

‘Who could imagine the thought of Paulo Maldini, Ronaldinho, Kaka and all those running out to play here but who could have imagined Portsmouth winning the FA Cup and having four players in the England squad?

‘Now it could all happen.’

The thought of Milan coming to Fratton is incredible – who would have thought that possible! At Fratton – on our day – we can do anyone, so why not Milan? Dare we dream the seemingly impossible, is in actual fact possible!

Without any shadow of a doubt this game will be on TV, and I dare say the TV companies will be battling it out for the rights to broadcast it, which could see us pocket a few quid extra! Either way I would be amazed if TV missed the opportunity of showing this in a prime time TV slot of 7.45pm or 8pm – but then again with TV world you never can tell…

One thing that I know beyond any doubt as sure as night follows day is that I will again be at Fratton no matter what time we kick off!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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