Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon says he will not be made a “scapegoat” for the 4-0 hammering at the hands of Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Lennon pulled out of the starting XI with illness just before kick-off at the Bernabeu, but the 23-year-old has shot down suggestions that Spurs’ coaching and medical staff only found out about the problem there and then.
The England winger claimed he had been ill since the weekend and insisted that the clash with Spanish giants Madrid, which Spurs lost 4-0, was one he desperately wanted to play in.
Lennon wrote on Twitter: “Saying I fell ill before the game is bull****.
“I fell ill on Sunday morning where the med team (Tottenham’s medical team) put me on antibiotics, but (it) only got worse before Tuesday.
“Believe me, this is one game I did not want to miss and still devo (devastated) now!!!! But (I) will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew just before KO (kick-off).”
And manager Harry Redknapp has now backed Lennon’s comments, telling talkSPORT: “No-one is blaming Aaron for not playing.
“He's been fantastic for us. I've got no problems with the kid whatsoever.
“I was sitting in the dressing room before the match, looking at his face. He's normally chirpy before he goes out and I looked and he didn't look well.
“I had to make a decision. It wasn't Aaron's fault. He didn't bottle anything. The kid wasn't well.
“No-one's made him a scapegoat.”