| 12.7°C Dublin

Redknapp less than serious about Euro vision as key men left at home

TOTTENHAM's players certainly enjoyed their visit the last time they came to Ireland to play a competitive game, putting six goals past a hapless Drogheda United in a UEFA Cup tie in 1983.

But the current crop of Spurs men could do with a similar dose in Dublin tonight, as Harry Redknapp's men need to beat Shamrock Rovers by five goals, and hope that PAOK lose at home to the already-qualified Rubin Kazan in Greece tonight, if the London side are to progress out of the group stage.

Spurs took their last competitive trip to Ireland seriously, as big names like Chris Hughton, Tony Galvin, Gary Mabbutt and friends all played as Keith Burkinshaw's star-studded team beat Drogheda 6-0 -- they finished off the job with an 8-0 hammering in the second leg in London, with Brendan Flynn the unlucky Drogs keeper.

But in the new world order of football this season, Spurs are taking neither the game nor the competition seriously.

Bench

That was made evident by the match preparations of Spurs boss Redknapp, who has opted to leave key players like Luka Modric, Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor in London, meaning that he will have just three outfield players on the bench tonight.

Spurs didn't even train in the stadium in Tallaght, opting to do their pre-match work back in London and just fly in to Dublin for the game.

Teams visiting Dublin for friendly games have had a more serious approach and build-up to their ties.

The absence of players like Modric will disappoint the London club's Irish fans, who will instead have to make do with 'stars' such as Carlo Cudicini, Danny Rose and Jake Livermore.

"We will still have seven international players in the team," said Redknapp. "We have Jermain Defoe here, Dos Santos -- Gio is a Mexican international. (Benoit) Assou-Ekotto, a Cameroon international, is here. (Younes) Kaboul, French international, Niko Kranjcar (Croatia), Stephen Pienaar (South Africa), lads who have not been playing will play.

"We have Danny Rose, England U21 international, Andros Townsend. Sandro, a Brazilian international, I forgot him, I haven't brought a big squad, only three outfield subs.

"We come here with a decent team, most of these lads, eight or nine of them, are not in my starting line-up but it's up to them to play well and show that they're capable of getting into the team."

Laugh

It's hardly a crucial game for Spurs, even if they win there's no guarantee they'll join Stoke in the next round.

When asked if his club could still make the next phase of the Europa League, Redknapp's hearty laugh said it all. "It's going to be very difficult," he finally admitted.

"Just winning the game, we want to try and win the game and see what happens from there."

Rovers did serve notice of their intentions against Spurs when they took the lead and held that 1-0 advantage for 10 minutes at White Hart Lane, but a Spurs onslaught yielded a 3-1 win for the English side.

"It wasn't a nice position to be in, we were red-hot favourites and we didn't want to lose the game. I don't want to lose any game, I want to win here tonight," Redknapp added.


Privacy