Redknapp places Uefa Cup last on list of priorities

Darren Bent, Spurs’ top goalscorer, says he has nothing to prove to Harry Redknapp

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Harry Redknapp, may rest key players for this week’s trip to Ukraine and will make a late decision on whether Luka Modric will travel.

The Uefa Cup tie against Shakhtar Donetsk tomorrow starts a period of four matches in 11 days, with the Carling Cup final against Manchester United on 1 March being Redknapp’s priority – and Spurs also have a Premier League match at Hull on Monday.

The Croatia midfielder Modric picked up a knock in training and could be held back for the first leg of the last-32 tie at RSK Olimpiyskiy, |but other available players are expected to travel even if they do not |start. Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka are cup-tied, with Jermain Defoe ineligible and sidelined, while Ledley King and Jamie O’Hara are returning from injury and will not travel.

“I wouldn’t play Ledley in the Uefa Cup even if he was fit,” Redknapp said. “The Uefa Cup is not the most important of our competitions. The game at Hull is far more important to me.”

Redknapp, who is expected to put youngsters such as Dean Parrett and John Bostock on the bench, at least has options in midfield. Wilson Palacios, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas and Didier Zokora are the central midfielders at Redknapp’s disposal, with the manager assessing which players to keep fresh for Hull.

Darren Bent is likely to start in attack, less then a week after he admitted he may have to assess his options if he cannot get regular football.

“I’ve got a point to prove in that I want to show the gaffer what I can |do and I want to be starting games,” Bent said.

“At the same time, I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove because I’ve scored goals this season. I’m the top goalscorer at this football club so I feel like I can just go out there and relax. I don’t feel the pressure at all, I just go out there and enjoy it.

“If you’re any player not playing games you’re not going to be happy. But me and Harry get on fine. I’ve got no problem with Harry and he’s got no problem with me, so I’ll just go out there and get on with it.”

Portsmouth’s win at the weekend means Spurs dropped to 16th in the table and playing on Monday means they could be back in the bottom three before kick-off at the KC Stadium. The return leg for the Shakhtar game is on the Thursday, followed by United at Wembley on Sunday.

Bent added: “If we can go as far |as we can in the Uefa Cup, start climbing the league and win the Carling Cup, all of a sudden it will be a great season.”

Redknapp cannot choose Adel Taarabt or Ricardo Rocha for the Uefa Cup as the pair were not registered by Tottenham’s former coach Juande Ramos at the start of the season.

Taarabt, who grew up in France, would have been raring to go after his international debut for Morocco last week.

Taarabt said: “I could have waited to play for France, but I felt the time was right when I was given this opportunity and it was a very proud moment for me with all my family watching.”

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform