Portsmouth boss Redknapp defends buying foreign

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp insists Premiership managers are being forced to go offshore for talent because there is no longer the quality running around in England's junior leagues.

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"I'm fed up with managers being made scapegoats for the state of our domestic game," he said in his column for The Sun. "The English working class is turning its back on football - and that is not my fault.

"I do have a lot of foreign players at Portsmouth but believe me I'd love nothing more than to field a team of 11 so-called 'home-grown' lads born within the city limits.

"But it has become harder and harder to find enough kids of the kind of quality required to make the grade without buying an air ticket."

Redknapp added: "It may sound old and corny but when I was growing up, working class lads like me in the east end lived and breathed football.

"Now I rarely see a kickabout in the park. All I see are the dazzling lights of bedroom windows from the glare of TVs and computers. It seems football cannot compete with an X-Box."

The former West Ham and Southampton boss suggests that players from poverty-stricken parts of Africa are now the ones with the motivation needed to be successful in the game.

"Maybe they have the hunger and drive that working class boys of England had 30 years ago but now is replaced by video game passion," he said.

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