We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball, warns Redknapp

When Harry Redknapp went through the injury news, there was one additional name to the list of usual suspects. The horse he owns, the aptly named Arry's Orse, was due to run in the 3.05 at Newmarket today but has had to pull out with a nasty cough.

"It's pulled out. It's coughing. It's not in a coffin. I think he's looked at the rest of the field and thought, 'I don't fancy that'," Redknapp said with a broad grin. If he is feeling any pressure as Tottenham Hotspur lead the race for fourth place in the Premier League table, he certainly was not showing it yesterday.

Not even the sight of rivals Manchester City signing goalkeeper Marton Fulop from Sunderland on an emergency loan as replacement for the injured Shay Given could dampen Redknapp's affable mood. The Tottenham manager was reminded of New Year's Day 1996 when his West Ham side were without Ludek Miklosko and Les Sealey but were refused permission to sign another goalkeeper and 17-year-old Neil Finn was forced to play in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Redknapp responded by saying he was not concerned with City's behaviour but added that if it had been him, he would not have looked to sign anyone. "It's not a big deal," he said. "I'm not over-bothered about it. If you've got a goalkeeper I suppose you would use him – if I got an injury here, I would turn to Ben Alnwick, and if he got injured I would play Jimmy Walker, and if he wasn't fit, one of the kids.

"It wouldn't have entered my mind about bringing in another goalkeeper, but if you are allowed to do it, that's not a problem. When I had to draft Finn into the team at West Ham, I was told it was because we had another keeper on the books. They said, 'If you've got a youth keeper, you've got to play him'. Someone has got to play in goal for City, whether it's Fulop or whoever."

Tottenham lead the race for fourth, and are the team with the least to lose in the battle for the final Champions League place. Their rivals Manchester City, Liverpool and Aston Villa were all expected to be challenging for places in the top four, but at the start of the season Tottenham would have been the outsiders. Redknapp made it clear that Spurs have already achieved something substantial this season whether they finish the season in fourth or not: "It's a successful season to be where we are and to play the football we've played. We've come an awful long way and we have played some excellent football at times. To finish fourth and then worry about the Champions League next season would be wonderful. But if we don't we will have given it our best shot. We really want to achieve that now because we have been up there all year, scrapping away to get fourth spot."

Redknapp talked with the confidence of a man whose team takes on Bolton at White Hart Lane today, knowing they have won their last five home league games, including most recently their famous victories over Arsenal and Chelsea. He may also give Aaron Lennon his first start since December although he is wary of rushing him back too quickly.

"We need to beat Bolton and not take our eye of the ball," he said. "It's the last home game and we want to win. We need another performance like those against Arsenal and Chelsea."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones