x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Harry Redknapp will go from the court to the pitch

The Tottenham manager, who has missed training with his team this week, will go from the dock to the dug-out for the FA Cup match against Watford.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, is in court accused of tax evasion.
Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, is in court accused of tax evasion.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, will swap the dock for the dugout tonight and his men will be fully prepared against Watford in the FA Cup despite his absence from training this week, according to Kevin Bond, his assistant manager.

Bond and the first-team coaches Clive Allen and Joe Jordan have been in charge of training at the club's Chigwell base this week while Redknapp has been contesting two charges of cheating the public purse at Southwark Crown Court.

Redknapp, who denies both charges, will be available to lead his team out in tonight's FA Cup fourth round clash against the Championship side, however.

The 64 year old will make the dash across London to Watford's Vicarage Road ground tonight and will pick the team, Bond confirmed.

"Clearly the manager is not here, but [it has had] very little [effect] really," Bond said yesterday.

"The training carries on pretty much as normal and everybody has been getting on with things as normal so there's not really a lot of difference except obviously Harry is not here during the day."

Redknapp is likely to rest several of his star players.

Champions League qualification remains Spurs' main priority, meaning the likes of Steven Pienaar, Danny Rose and Niko Kranjcar should get some game time tonight.

Watford looked to be Championship play-off contenders until a recent poor run of form left them 18th in the table.

Bond still expects a tough game from the Hornets, however.

"We are fully aware of how difficult a game it will be for us," he said. "It's Sean Dyche's first job as a manager and he has done very well there."

Fulham will be without Mousa Dembele for their FA Cup fourth-round match at against Everton tonight The Belgium international missed last week's defeat of Newcastle with a hip injury and dropped out of training yesterday, meaning he will not make the trip to Goodison Park.

Tony Hibbert, the Everton defender, is fit for the match and David Moyes, the Everton manager, will have to consider whether to recall the long-serving fullback and reshuffle his back line or stick with Shane Duffy in the continued absence of Sylvain Distin (hamstring) and Phil Jagielka (knee).