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Redknapp refuses to criticise Spurs decision-makers for cutting loose Woodgate

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is ready to face Stoke City in the Carling Cup tonight.

Redknapp could face three players on Tuesday night who he let go this summer.

Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios joined the Potters in a £20million double deal and Jonathan Woodgate signed on a free transfer after his contract at White Hart Lane expired. Woodgate made just 65 appearances in three and a half years at Spurs due to several bad injuries but if Redknapp had his way he would have kept him.

"I wanted to keep Jonathan. I wouldn't have let him go," Redknapp said. "He came back on the first day of pre-season. He was convinced he was fit. I spoke to him in the summer but there were problems with his insurance.

"It was gutting but I can see the club's point of view. He had barely kicked a ball in two years."

An own goal against Sunderland aside, Woodgate has made a good impression at the Britannia Stadium and Redknapp hopes the former England defender can get back to his best.

"If he can stay fit he is one of the best. He and Ledley King are up there with the John Terrys and Rio Ferdinands of the world," added Redknapp, who was also not too keen on letting Crouch and Palacios leave.

"I like Crouchy as well. He wasn't one I was mad to get rid of," he said.

"Wilson's deal was dependent on Crouchy going. I was looking at the time to bring Gary Cahill in and we needed to raise some money to do that, and bring in Scott Parker, so we ended up getting around about £20million for the two."

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