on August 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Twice winner Redknapp takes heart from Asia Cup

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp hopes Friday’s Asia Trophy victory will mean the same sort of start to a league campaign he enjoyed with Portsmouth after they won the pre-season event in 2007.

Robbie Keane scored twice, including a penalty, and Aaron Lennon added a late goal as Spurs beat Hull City 3-0 in the final of the Premier League’s biennial warm-up tournament.

“The boys did well, worked hard, showed a good attitude in both games… they’ve been top class,” said Redknapp, whose team beat West Ham United 1-0 on Wednesday to reach the final.

Redknapp, who was Portsmouth manager when they won the last version of the tournament two years ago, added: “We (Portsmouth) went to Hong Kong and the lads played great and we won that Cup and came home and had a good start to the season.

“We’ve got to do the same this year. It’s all about what we do at the start but winning’s a good habit. It was nice to come and win and beat two good teams from the Premiership.”

Ireland striker Keane gave Spurs the lead in the 17th minute with a powerful shot past Hull goalkeeper Tony Warner, who will be disappointed not to have kept it out.

There was further disappointment for Warner in the 68th minute when he was adjudged to have brought Jermain Defoe down in the area and Keane calmly stroked the spot kick past him.

There was not much Warner could do about the third goal when Kyle Naughton’s cross left England winger Lennon unmarked at the far post to score easily two minutes from time.

West Ham earlier beat a second string Beijing Guoan side 2-0 to secure third place in the tournament courtesy of late goals from Danny Gabbidon and Zavon Hines.

The Chinese league leaders, who play in Chongqing on Sunday, contained the visitors until Gabbidon headed in from a corner with 10 minutes to go. Hines added a second for West Ham with a solo effort in the last few seconds.

There was a minute’s silence before each match for former England manager Bobby Robson, who died of cancer on Friday aged 76.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)