Harry Redknapp reveals his Premier League relegation prediction as he says 'I never saw this coming' | The Sun

IT’S a final-day scrap to survive which is too close to call but one thing is certain for the three clubs fighting for their lives.

Every one of them would love to have their manager still in his playing days and at the heart of their defence today.

Centre-backs didn’t come more uncompromising than Sean Dyche, Sam Allardyce and Dean Smith when they were pulling on their boots.

All great characters, great leaders and great fellows. I’ve got a lot of time for them all and, having been in that position myself, know what they’re going through.

But I tell you this — if those three in their peak were playing for Everton, Leeds and Leicester, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be in this position.

By this evening, two of them will be heading for the Championship.

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They will be in the depths of despair and it is absolutely horrendous, believe me.

To be honest, I never saw this coming at the start of the season. I don’t think many did.

Most thought Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest would go straight back down.

Instead all three promoted clubs have been fantastic and deserved to survive . . . which means two massive clubs will go.

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As a manager, all you can do in this final week is try to take the pressure off your players. Tell them to keep their mind on their job, because they can’t affect anything elsewhere.

I had both sides of it over the years, and it’s horrible. At Birmingham we had to win our last game at Bristol City, who were on a decent run, to stay in the Championship.

Blackburn and Nottingham Forest were both winning — there’s nothing worse than hearing those scores coming in — which meant it was three points or bust for us.

Fortunately we managed it, and the sense of relief was unbelievable.

But I suffered the other side of it too, when I was at Southampton with a last-day relegation.

We had to beat Manchester United at home, and were a goal up, but they won 2-1. That was probably the worst dressing room I’ve ever been in.

You’re so low it’s scary. You feel responsible to all those fans, the players, the staff, knowing it affects people’s jobs. It’s a massive blow to your pride and takes some coming back from.

So I will have every sympathy for whoever goes through that tonight — and of the three, there’s no doubt Everton are in pole position, because a win keeps them up regardless.

But there’s no way beating Bournemouth is a gimme. They’ve been on a bad run and Gary O’Neil won’t want to finish with another defeat.

They’ve thrashed them twice this season, and can play without any pressure, while for Everton it couldn’t be any higher.

Of course, Dean will think his Leicester can beat West Ham at home, and I’m sure he’s hoping they have half an eye on their Europa Conference final in a week or so.

And Sam will definitely have Leeds revved up against a Spurs side who have fallen off a cliff.

But they’re also dependent on certain other things going their way, and as much as you tell them to just focus on their job, the crowd will let them know what’s happening elsewhere.

As a manager, you just hammer home the message “don’t go out with a whimper” — and pray it gets through and they do the business.

So for me, it’s Dychey and Everton to survive by the skin of their teeth again . . . and if I’m right, my heart will go out to Big Sam and Deano.


FOR an old head like me, the FA Cup final is still one of THE huge sporting occasions — and this year’s could be really special.

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The first all-Manchester final and the chance for City to take the second step towards the Treble. How much would United love to be the ones who stop them!

Well sorry Reds fans,  I just can’t see it. Pep Guardiola’s team has been fantastic all season, and although I’m sure it will be close, it’s a City win for me.

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