Tottenham 0 Real Madrid 1: Redknapp eyes fourth spot
Tottenham manager tells his side they must improve to seal a spot in next season's Champions League
Harry Redknapp warned his Tottenham Hotspur players that they must move up a gear to qualify for next season’s Champions League after their memorable European run was ended by Real Madrid’s 5-0 aggregate victory.
Spurs faced the near-impossible task of overturning a 4-0 deficit at White Hart Lane, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half strike swiftly ended any faint hopes of a turnaround as Jose Mourinho’s men booked their place in the last four.
But despite the defeat, Redknapp is determined to ensure Tottenham’s campaign in Europe is not a one-off by finishing fourth in the Premier League.
“It is no good doing it once and then not doing it again, we have to improve and be there next year too,” said Redknapp, whose side are currently fifth in the table.
“You’ve seen the players we have to play at that level and we just need to tweak that squad so we can do it again.
“Much like Arsenal do, and Chelsea and Manchester United, that’s how they keep doing it.”
Spurs defender Gareth Bale, who has gained admirers across Europe with some scintillating performances in the competition this season, echoed his manager’s sentiments.
“It has been fantastic not just for me but for everybody, nobody expected us to get this far and it has been great for me on a personal note,” he said.
“There is every chance [of qualifying for next year]. We are only three points off Manchester City in fourth [in the Premier League] and there is still a lot to play for, we have a game in hand as well.”
Meanwhile, Real coach Mourinho will begin preparing his team for four clashes with Barcelona in just 18 days, with the two sides set to meet in the Spanish league, the Copa del Rey final and the Champions League semi-finals.
“Let’s see what happens [against Barcelona],” he said. “We have ambition, a semi is a semi and anything can happen.
“They have a great situation with lack of suspensions and we don’t have that. We were punished by Uefa for poor yellow cards.
“We have two matches against them before the semi-finals and it is time to think about them first.”