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Woodgate reveals Redknapp wanted him to stay at Tottenham

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By Tim Doel

Sunday 18 September 2011

New Stoke City signing Jonathan Woodgate has revealed that neither he nor Spurs manager Harry Redknapp wanted the player to leave the club, but has set his sights on playing a full season for his new side.

Injury-plagued Woodgate, who made just three league appearances for Spurs last season, joined Stoke on a free transfer this summer, with the Spurs senior management apparently reluctant to continue paying the wages of the player without knowning if he would be able to play consistently.

Talking to the Mail on Sunday, Woodgate said: "Harry would have kept me, definitely, He'd ring me every week, even when I was in Australia, to encourage me and say he needed me back. But I think his hands were tied. The manager told me to come in for training but as I was walking towards the dressing room to get changed, a Spurs official stopped me on the grass verge outside and said I couldn't train.

"I felt humiliated. We all went into a room. Harry fought my corner, he was dying for me to stay, but Spurs said they felt I wouldn't get to the top again. I couldn't do anything about it but go to another club and try to prove people wrong. I did worry that nobody would have me after 18 months injured, but I think Harry must have had a word with Stoke manager Tony Pulis, because they came in really quickly. I wanted to play for a good club in the top flight and I remember turning out against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. It was an atmosphere no opponent looked forward to."

Woodgate has started all three Premier League matches since his deadline-day move, and is set to start in today's tie away to Sunderland.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Sunderland v Stoke and Tottenham v Liverpool

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