Harry Redknapp remains relaxed despite Tottenham stutter
Friday 16 March 2012
Harry Redknapp insists he is not worried about Tottenham's recent dip in form and is adamant that his team will be playing Champions League football next year.
Spurs have spent most of the season hot on the heels of the top two teams in the Barclays Premier League but now find themselves in danger of slipping out of the top four after successive defeats against Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton.
Arsenal now trail their bitter north London rivals by just one point and Chelsea, who have won three successive games under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, trail by four points ahead of their derby with Spurs in eight days' time.
Despite a spate of injuries to key players, Tottenham have looked as good as they have done all season going forward, but defensive errors have started creeping into their game, leading some fans to fear the London club are destined for the Europa League next term.
Redknapp is sure that his team will finish in the top four, however.
"We have had a couple of results that haven't gone our way but the performances have been excellent," he said.
"If we were playing badly you would start to worry but we haven't.
"I've beaten Manchester United a couple of times in my career but I've never had a team that has played so well against them as we did two weeks ago. I came away wondering how we didn't win, and it was the same at Everton.
"We were just unfortunate. We didn't get the results but I have no problems with the performance. If they had been spread out over the season, you wouldn't have noticed them.
"We probably average two points a year in those fixtures. We could have easily taken six points out of those games."
Redknapp has spent most of the season claiming that he has a squad capable of winning their first league title in 51 years.
The 65-year-old has had to scale back that ambition thanks to his team's recent form, but he thinks his team's early-season prowess has led to hugely-inflated expectations.
"If we finish in the top four we have over-punched our weight to be perfectly truthful," Redknapp added.
"We will have way exceeded expectations. We've only finished above Arsenal once and finishing above Chelsea... my god! Finishing above Liverpool is hard enough.
"We've only finished in the top four once. It's not as if we have been there every year. It will be a fantastic achievement if we do it this year and I think we will do it."
This summer will be a vital period for Tottenham in terms of their ambitions of playing Champions League football on a regular basis.
Redknapp is the red-hot favourite to become the next England manager and the club could receive bids for their top players like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.
The Spurs boss is confident that the future of his stars does not depend on whether the club are competing in the Champions League or not.
"It doesn't work like that," Redknapp said.
"If Arsenal don't get in the top four will Robin van Persie leave? If Chelsea don't get it, will John Terry walk away? No."
For now, Redknapp's focus is not on the league, but on the FA Cup, where Spurs face Bolton in a quarter-final clash at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
The Londoners have had an easy route to the last eight, although they have made it hard for themselves with sub-par performances against Watford and Stevenage in the last two rounds.
Redknapp, who lifted the trophy with Portsmouth in 2008, would love to win the competition with Spurs this year and realises that his team have a great chance of going all the way given that they are the top-ranked team left in the competition.
"I would love to win the FA Cup," Redknapp said.
"It's a great tournament and we want to go all the way to Wembley now and win it."
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