Redknapp: Portsmouth's Africans not distracted

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp insists his African players haven't been affected by their Nations Cup ambitions after Saturday's defeat to Middlesbrough.

Redknapp said: "Not a chance. They have been fantastic, these players. But you need a squad. You're always looking to improve.

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"Sulley (Muntari) didn't play against Boro. I decided to give him a rest. (Papa Bouba) Diop gave a couple of balls away and a few people moaned but he's been fantastic since he walked into the building here.

"When he gave the ball away a few times I thought it must be the end of the world but the big fella just came back strong and got back on his game again.

"We've been on a bad run but two weeks ago we were the talk of football.

"We were sitting fifth in the table and had games against a couple of big clubs. We got beat by Spurs which was the first time we had lost since God knows when, and we got beat at Liverpool which is no disgrace.

"But defeat by Middlesbrough was a poor result. We had come back with a good draw against Arsenal (0-0) and now we have 31 points which, at this stage of the season, I would have snapped your hand off for in August."

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