Scott Parker excited about Tottenham future


Harry Redknapp's Tottenham future may be far from clear but his players are fully focused on maintaining their Barclays Premier League challenge against Newcastle at White Hart Lane tomorrow.

Redknapp has so far shrugged off questions about the vacant England job for which he remains clear favourite, and midfielder Scott Parker believes his improving side is about to get even better.

Parker told Spurs' official website: "It's been a fantastic season and there is still a long way to go. We need to stay strong and build on what we've done. I'm excited with what's in progress here."

Newcastle moved back up to fifth place with victory over Aston Villa last weekend, but boss Alan Pardew admits the gap between the Magpies and Spurs remains too big to breach.

Pardew said: "They are not in our sights, they are way past us. But we are just nagging away, and that's where we should be because we are a big club. This is still a game in which the squad must rise to the challenge."

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland head into their clash with Arsenal at the Stadium of Light on a high after Stephane Sessegnon's extra-time FA Cup winner over Middlesbrough.

Meanwhile Saturday sees two critical showdowns at the foot of the table with bottom club Wigan travelling to Bolton, whose recent revival ground to a halt with a 2-0 loss to Norwich last week.

Trotters boss Owen Coyle said: "It (the Norwich defeat) has happened, we have taken our medicine and we look to bounce back quickly. We know if we are at our best, it is one we are capable of winning."

And Mark Hughes takes his Queen's Park Rangers side back to his old club Blackburn looking to recover after last week's shock home to loss to Wolves - on the same day Rovers leaked seven at Arsenal.

Hughes said: "We can look back on it and cry over spilt milk, but you can't do anything about it. You have to get on with games you have got ahead of you and that's what we are focusing on."

Brendan Rodgers insists his Swansea side are far from safe from being lured into the drop zone as they prepare to face Norwich, despite the 10-point gap separating the Swans from the bottom three.

Rodgers said: "Our target is to stay in this league and we are not out of the woods yet by any means. We have been consistent, strong and motivated, but until someone says we are safe and secure we have our foot to the floor every day."

David Moyes' Everton look to spring another surprise after their recent win over Manchester City as they meet Chelsea at Goodison Park. Martin Jol's Fulham meet Stoke at Craven Cottage.


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