Champions League spot is focus for Tottenham, insists Redknapp
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists his only focus is to guide Spurs back into the Champions League for next season
Harry Redknapp insists that guiding Tottenham Hotspur to a top-four finish and Champions League football is his priority this season – not a title challenge.
Spurs kept within five points of first-placed Manchester United courtesy of their resounding 5-0 win over Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
But despite many feeling that the north Londoners are still in the mix to land a first league title since 1961, Redknapp admits his priority is to get his side back into Europe’s elite club competition.
“I just keep looking at the gap between us and Arsenal and Chelsea,” Redknapp said after Saturday’s victory. “I’d be lying if I said otherwise.
“I look at the top as well but we really want Champions League football – that’s the key. Arsenal closed the gap before the game to seven points but we’ve put it back to 10 again.
“We’ve got another three on Chelsea today which is important to us, three on Liverpool. If we can close on the front two, that will be fantastic but I really want to make sure we get a Champions League place. If we can do that it’ll be fantastic for us.”
Goals from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Niko Kranjcar, Emmanuel Adebayor and Louis Saha’s brace eased Tottenham to victory over Alan Pardew’s men – and Redknapp felt his side’s bright start – they were 2-0 up after six minutes – set the tone for the rest of the one-sided encounter.
“We felt it would be a tough game tonight but we started well, so bright,” Redknapp said. “Adebayor and Saha were unplayable in that early period and it set us up, really.
“We got the early goals and there was no danger after that. Saha in his first game – I took the chance of playing him today. I always thought he was a top player, he has fantastic ability. If he can stay fit, you’ve got a real player on your hands for nothing.”
Redknapp continues to be linked with the vacant England manager’s position in the wake of Fabio Capello’s resignation, but the 64-year-old once again insisted he is only focused on Tottenham.
“Nothing has happened with that [England],” he said. “No one’s spoken to me or Daniel about the job so I’ve just got to focus on what I’m doing here.
“It wouldn’t be fair to Tottenham, the players, the crowd, the people that own the club. Daniel gave me the job, he brought me here while that court case was hanging over me.
“He looked at the case and had great faith that there shouldn’t be a case. I owe him, I owe the club. We’ve been good for each other, I’ve been good for them as well. At the moment I can’t take my focus off of Tottenham – it wouldn’t be fair to them.”