Redknapp happy after opening-day draw

Last updated : 15 August 2004 By Alex Dale
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was in good spirits following Portsmouth's opening day 1-1 draw with big-spending Birmingham City, tipped to do well in the Premiership this season.

"It was always going to be a tough game," he said, adding "I looked at the team [Birmingham have], the players he has brought in and the money he has spent.

"But we worked hard and I think we deserved our point. I think this season will be harder because I haven't been able to bring the players I want in and because of the players we have lost".

Birmignham boss Steve Bruce on the other hand was fuming after a tale to two penalties which cost Birmingham dear.

David Unsworth levelled the game with a spot-kick after Australian international Stan Lazardis was judged to have brought down Steve Stone in the area.

The decision looked harsh on the midlanders - and their mood did not improve later on when Linvoy Primus handled in the area.

Bruce fumed: "Everyone in the ground saw that Primus handled the ball.

"He caught it with two hands and took the lace out of it!

"We got off to the perfect start, but I have to say we feel harshly treated and I don't want to sound like a bleating Premiership manager. But if he is going to give a petulant penalty like that, then he has to give us one too.

"I thought the referee did well overall, but would we have got the penalty if it was at the other end?"

Still, Portsmouth are off the mark and take the trip to, er, bottom of the table Charlton Athletic next.