Harry Redknapp says Portsmouth were on the way up as soon as he welcomed Sol Campbell and David James to the club.

He told the Daily Mail: "The moment Sol walked in the door here, it was a statement. The man has presence. I chased him, (chief executive) Peter Storrie did the deal. We knew he was such a big player to bring here.

"Linvoy Primus played alongside him last year and said to me: 'I never thought that I would get to play with someone as good as Sol'.

"And David James? People were warning me off him. I thought he was the best out there. He has something about him, real professionalism. And quality. I knew if I could sign him to play behind Sol, we would never have to worry about relegation again.

"He's fantastic. Incredible. I've never seen anyone in my life train like him. He's a lunatic. You can't get him off the training ground. Last Friday, before the Aston Villa game, the pitch was ankle deep in mud and I wanted them in. He insisted on having his silly shooting game, where they have to try to score against him. It lasted 45 minutes.

"Remember, my first time here, I started with a team who had finished fourth from bottom in the Championship for the two previous years.

"With the support of the owner, we have continued to make advances. Now we have a team who could give anyone a game. Anyone."