Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says Champions League battle still wide open


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes the race for Champions League qualification is still wide open after his side beat Blackburn 2-0 at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Spurs, Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea are all in the hunt for third and fourth places in the Barclays Premier League table and even though there are only two or three matches remaining Redknapp feels there are still twists and turns to come.

"It is all to play for, we have got a difficult couple of away games," he said. "I can't see Chelsea losing many games at the moment either, they are looking really strong whatever team he (Roberto Di Matteo) picks.

"They have got Newcastle in the week and that is a big game.

"Newcastle have got tough fixtures - they have got to go to Everton on the last game of the season, you wouldn't want that one and they've got Manchester City at home so we have just got to keep going and see what happens, you never know do you?

"Whoever saw Wigan pulling off the results they have pulled off? It has just been unbelievable so you can never predict football results."

Redknapp's side had won only one of their previous nine league games before yesterday's clash with lowly Blackburn but goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Walker made for a comfortable afternoon for Spurs.

Despite the impressive attacking display it was defensive midfielder Sandro who earned special praise from his manager.

Redknapp said: "Sandro was absolutely brilliant - that was the Sandro who was here last year.

"He has had injuries and never really been fit. He has played and then breaks down - that is the boy we had here last year that we all felt was going to be a great player for this club."

The 23-year-old Brazil international may have found his form at just the right time, as Scott Parker missed the win due to an Achilles problem which has left him doubtful for the match against Bolton on Wednesday.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean was left defending the performance of his relegation-threatened side at White Hart Lane after they failed to produce an effort on goal during the entire 90 minutes.

Under-fire Kean, who was jeered by Blackburn's small number of travelling fans, claimed the defeat left him as deflated as the supporters but believes his team are still up for a battle.

He said: "What we have got to do is draw a line under today - improve on that and then go and beat Wigan.

"I think we have got plenty of fight and plenty of fire in our bellies, I look at the physical stats and how we set up today and I would be very surprised if they aren't high.

"I'm as disappointed as them (the fans). Normally we are better and we've been better - they have had many away games this season where they have gone home happy."