Pavlyuchenko in frame for Wigan start


Roman Pavlyuchenko - Header

Harry Redknapp is set to give Roman Pavlyuchenko his first league start of the season against Wigan on Sunday, despite the striker speaking out against his manager during the week.

Pavlyuchenko accused his boss of ‘jeering at him’ amid his move to Lokomotiv Moscow being blocked.

Redknapp was unwilling to let the Russian go as he felt he needed him for back-up to Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, with Robbie Keane having joined Celtic for the rest of the season.

But Redknapp has said Pavlyuchenko has a great chance of starting a match in the near future, proving the sense behind not letting him go.

“I don’t sell players, the chairman does. He would ask my opinion. We both agreed we’d let Robbie go, so we are not in a position to sell him.

“He’s fit again after a groin injury. We have three games this week and there is every chance he’ll start one of those games at least. He’s back in the frame.

“No-one wants to see him score goals more than me. If he scored eight to ten between now and the end of the season, no-one will be happier than me.”

Redknapp was however unhappy with reports carrying quotes from Pavlyuchenko this week, speaking out again about his lack of first-team action.

“I can’t really say what I feel. It’s a difficult job I’ve got, so I’ll get on with it. If he wants to say stuff, it’s up to him.

“The only way he proves it is by coming in every day and working hard, showing he wants to play for the club. It’s up to him. As a manager my hands are tied.

“He doesn’t speak much English, so it’s difficult to speak to him about it. I’ll pick him when I think he deserves to be picked and leave him out when he deserves to be left out – that is what I get paid to do and if I make the wrong decisions, I’ll take the blame.”

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