Harry Hits Back

Harry Redknapp says that in times of trouble you know who your friends are.

And he insists he will not be making wholesale changes to the side at the weekend.

Responding to the criticism of recent performances, he says:

"I haven't got an awful lot to change, and it's the same players that four or five weeks ago were winning at Sunderland when everyone was saying we were the most exciting team in the country.

"It's the same players; nothing has changed.

"As I've said before, against Arsenal and Chelsea we had a reserve team out, we got beaten by Spurs, didn't play well against an Ipswich team bang in form and full of confidence, and lost to Everton.

"We've had a couple of dicky results and our home form has been poor this year.

"But we've got to stick together: it's the first time in 4 years the West Ham supporters have had to look in the bottom half of the table to see their team.

"Everyone is suddenly doom and gloom and suicidal, suddenly everyone is a bad player and I'm a bad manager - I find it hard to understand at times.

"The last three years we've been in the top half of the table for only I think the second time in the club's history; people have got short memories.

"You find out when you have a little dicky time who you can rely on and who you can't.

"Sometimes it's good to have these periods because you find out a lot more about people than you ever do when things are going well.

"I think some people have got not an ounce of gumption in their body.

"When things go a little bit boss eyed it's like, 'everything is wrong, this is wrong, that's wrong' and I think people have got to have a little bit more back bone about it.

"At the end of the day we'll get the results we need and we will stay up, that's not a problem."

Indeed Harry is already looking to next season, and he says:

"Next year hopefully we will get one or two players in, and we'll be twice as strong for what we've been through this year."

And he says that people are not taking into account the tender years of the midfield trio, and he adds:

"It's been hard: we're the only team in the country with two 19 year olds in the midfield, with a 22 year old.

"They are kids, and they are going to have dips in form, but it's the same players.

"I haven't done anything differently; I'm picking the same players that won at Manchester United and Sunderland and unfortunately at the moment one or two have lost a bit of form.

"What can I do about that? Can I help it if we are giving silly goals away or giving rash challenges and giving penalties against us - what can I do about that?

"Drop all eleven and bring another eleven in? I haven't got another eleven.

"I've got faith in the players; they just need a bit of confidence.

"They need people to believe in them again, and the results will come."

And, in a parting shot at fickle critics, he says:

"That's football isn't it; you wouldn't like to be in the bleedin' war with them, would you?

"But I've always known who my friends were, that's never been a problem."