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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 May, 2005, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Redknapp reiterates he is staying
Southampton boss Harry Redknapp
What is important is that we try to keep hold of our best players
Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp has reiterated that he will remain as Southampton manager next season, despite the club's relegation.

Redknapp took over at St Mary's in December but was unable to save the club from the drop and then he admitted he was unsure about his future.

But after holding talks with chairman Rupert Lowe, he told the Sunday People: "I have reached an agreement.

"I am delighted to announce that I am staying on. I am determined to lead us back to the Premiership."

Redknapp added: "I have only been here a short time but this club has become very close to my heart."

The former Pompey boss wanted to know how many players would be sold as a consequence of relegation - and he was particularly concerned over the future of striker Peter Crouch.

"I have been given an assurance that Peter is staying, which is essential because he is important to what we are hoping to achieve," added Redknap.

He was given time to consider his future by Lowe after the club's relegation from the Premiership.

"I sat down with the chairman and went through the squad looking at next season," he said.

"What is important is that we try to keep hold of our best players.

"You've got to keep them and give us a chance of getting up, all I wanted was confirmation of that from the chairman that we will look to keep the best players here and add one or two free transfers or whatever we can find."

There will almost certainly be changes to the Southampton squad for next season, with Redknapp already critical of the number of players at the club.

Loan signings Henri Camara and Calum Davenport are set to return to Wolves and Tottenham respectively, while free transfer arrival Olivier Bernard is on a short-term contract and is unlikely to remain.

Former England player Graeme Le Saux is believed to have decided to retire and Anders Svensson, Darren Kenton, Jo Tessem, Jamie Redknapp, Brett Ormerod and Jason Dodd are all likely to be released.

Furthermore, the likes of goalkeeper Antti Niemi, Kevin Phillips, Nigel Quashie and new England call-up Crouch are all bound to attract interest from Premiership clubs.

Redknapp is determined to keep both Niemi and Phillips at St Mary's.

He added: "Phillips is a terrific player, I'm sure there'll be interest in him but you want to keep him if you can.

"Niemi is an outstanding goalkeeper but, if you can, you've got to keep your better players.

"If someone comes in with an incredible offer it's different because you can use the money to strengthen other areas but you can't sell them and not replace them.

"We'll be looking at a couple of players, if we can bring in a few free transfers with character then we'll be good enough to have a real go."




SEE ALSO
Redknapp set for talks on future
16 May 05 |  Southampton
Saints name Redknapp as boss
08 Dec 04 |  Southampton


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