Date: 6th October 2008 at 7:05am
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Harry Redknapp hailed his Pompey players following the win over Stoke at the weekend, telling sky sports that it capped a fine week – with us playing some really good football: ‘yes it’s been a terrific week, starting with the great win against Tottenham, and a great result in Portugal.

‘I thought they were fantastic, the slick football we played the way we moved the ball the way passed the ball was top class.

‘You worry about one or two of them, but they recovered.

‘Sol Campbell was magnificent and Sylvain along side him felt tired on Thursday but recovered and pulled it out today and it was a great performance.’

We were comfortable for the most part but for us, as has been the case for so many sides this season, the main threat that stoke offered came from the long throws offered up by Rory Delap: ‘it’s a nightmare, I don’t know how you deal with it, it’s so difficult.

‘We’re a big side – we have big Crouch and Diop in front, but the ball comes in at such a trajectory it’s so difficult to deal with.

‘It’s like defending 15 to 20 corners a game eventually they are going to break the gap at some stage.’

The left side pairing of Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore again worked a treat for us, with them both back to their very best with the on loan Arsenal youngster being especially impressive after a disappointing display in Portugal and Redknapp had plenty of praise for him: ‘he was a threat, him and little Belhadj at left back. To have them two coming at you is a nightmare.’

Although he played down our chances of signing him: ‘I wouldn’t think we have got a chance of that, he’s another young player at Arsenal.

‘I think it’s a great experience for him to come and play here and it’s great of Arsenal to let him come on loan.

‘He needed the experience and he’s loving every minute of it. He’s playing regular so it’s great.’

And last, but by no means least came the praise for Peter Crouch after his stunning goal, a bicycle kick that Redknapp claims is one of the best he has ever seen: ‘it was a wonderful goal from Peter Crouch.

‘That was one of the best goals I’ve ever seen. The technique for the volley was fantastic.’

All in all it was a very good day at the office for us, we played well, but rarely seemed to have to get into top gear to get the job done against a decent enough side, but a side that offered very little threat to us – that long throw aside!

What a difference a week makes eh! Just a couple back we were fantastic, a week later poor and now back to the fantastic side again – if nothing else it is going to be another interesting season by the looks of things…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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