PORTSMOUTH boss Harry Redknapp last night launched a withering attack on Glenn Roeder by claiming that the Newcastle manager was a serial under-achiever who was hindering the Magpies' attempts to climb into the top half of the Premiership.

The pair have been involved in a number of run-ins in the past, with Redknapp initially criticising Roeder for helping to relegate the talented West Ham side he inherited from the Pompey boss in 2001.

The duo clashed again in the aftermath of Newcastle's 1-0 victory over Portsmouth last November as Redknapp suggested that a strong Magpies squad was under-performing under the club's current management set-up.

A furious Roeder told his former mentor to keep his opinions to himself at the time, claiming he had inherited an "inferior squad" when he replaced Redknapp at Upton Park.

An uneasy truce appeared to have been called but, on the eve of this afternoon's Premiership clash at Fratton Park, Redknapp has stoked the fires even further.

With the Magpies currently five points adrift of today's opponents in the battle for an Intertoto Cup spot, Redknapp has claimed that Newcastle have done nothing but tread water since Roeder replaced Graeme Souness in the latter stages of last season.

"Glenn has come back into management at Newcastle and got a good job," said the Pompey boss. "When Graeme Souness left, they put him in (caretaker) charge and after a couple of good results he got the job.

"But they have some great players there and, looking at their squad, they should be much higher.

"There is a lot of talent in the team - people like (Kieron) Dyer, (Scott) Parker, (James) Milner and (Damien) Duff - and they should be right up there for what they have paid out.

"To be fair, they have had injuries throughout this season and when Michael Owen comes back it will be a big boost for them. But for us, being above teams like Newcastle, Blackburn and Manchester City is terrific."

Ironically, Roeder might not have been Newcastle manager at all had Redknapp not offered him a job on West Ham's coaching staff shortly after taking over at Upton Park.

The former Newcastle skipper eventually succeeded his former boss when Redknapp was dismissed, inheriting a squad that included the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Paolo Di Canio.

After guiding the Hammers to a seventh-placed finish in his first season, however, Roeder was unable to keep the London club in the top-flight the following year in a campaign that was blighted by his battle against a brain tumour.