Redknapp eyes Manchester United scalp

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The Independent Football

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists the time has come for his team to start winning on their travels against the big-four teams, starting with Manchester United in the Carling Cup quarter-final tonight.

Redknapp was encouraged by the manner of his team's performance at Aston Villa on Saturday - showing the progress being made at Spurs - but they still struggle to get victories at the country's toughest grounds.

After showing themselves to be contenders for a Champions League place, winning at places like Old Trafford would be seen as the next step.

"This time last year, you wouldn't even have considered us breaking in there, we were at the bottom of the league," he said. "But you look at the way we played during the second half on Saturday and to dominate a team like Villa as we did second-half.

"Normally, you see a Man United dominate someone like that or a Liverpool.

"I think we are getting to the stage where we it is possible for us to go away (to top-four clubs), we can play at these places and feel we've got a chance of winning."

Redknapp believes qualifying for the Champions League would be a bigger success than bringing a trophy to White Hart Lane.

Redknapp is ready to utilise his squad for the United clash, illustrating the seriousness of Spurs' push for the top-four place in the Barclays Premier League that earns a shot at Europe's top club competition.

Spurs ended their silverware drought with glory at Wembley in 2008 under Juande Ramos but the slump that followed led to Redknapp's appointment - and just over a year later a trophy is no longer seen as something to salvage their season.

"Wembley is a great day out but I would love to get into a Champions League position with Tottenham," Redknapp said. "You can win a cup and have a bit of luck on the way but to get to a Champions League position would be done through a whole season. It would be great for us.

"It is a one-off game at Wembley, a great day out for the fans. If you win it everybody enjoys it but Tottenham won it two years ago and then went into freefall. So it didn't do them any good."

Redknapp feels the title will be won by Chelsea or United, leaving Arsenal and Liverpool to scrap with Spurs, Aston Villa and Manchester City for the final spaces at Europe's top table.

"The four clubs have had a monopoly on it," he said. "I'm not saying we're going to do it but we have got a chance. It's not impossible. If we sit here and say we're never going to do it, we never will.

"If the manager doesn't believe it, the players would think 'why should we?' But it is possible. We have a good squad here."