Saturday 16 December 2017

Redknapp: You get what you deserve

Harry Redknapp today admitted Tottenham would not deserve to be in the Champions League if they fail to win tomorrow's play-off second leg against Young Boys.

Spurs must turn around a 3-2 first-leg deficit at White Hart Lane if they are to reach the lucrative group stage for the first time.

Manager Redknapp was confident this afternoon they would do so but said: "Listen, if we can't win tomorrow, then we don't deserve to be in the competition.

"If we can't win tomorrow, what chance have we got anyway?

"So, we find out how good we are tomorrow."

Tottenham had been expected to roll over Young Boys in last week's first leg in Bern.

But a shocking first half-hour on the Swiss runners-up's plastic pitch saw the visitors forced to fight back from 3-0 down.

So horrendous was their defending, Redknapp today confessed he feared they might have fallen as far as 6-0 behind.

And he urged his side to mirror tomorrow the kind of fast start their opponents inflicted on them last Tuesday.

"We've got to swarm all over them if we can," said Redknapp, who also wants the home fans to create an "intimidating" atmosphere.

"I wouldn't sit here saying we've got to be patient.

"I think we've got to get after them."

He added: "If the players play as they can play, we're going to be very difficult to beat."

With a minimum £10million prize money on offer just for reaching the group stage, tomorrow night's game is arguably one of the biggest in Tottenham's recent history.

Everton were the last club from outside the Barclays Premier League's so-called 'big four' to take part in the final qualifying round of the Champions League.

But they lost their tie, missing out on a cash bonanza that might have helped them challenge for a top-four spot in future seasons.

Redknapp said: "I don't think about the money.

"It would be a great honour to get the club into the Champions League group stages now.

"It'd be fantastic to bring that to White Hart Lane."

Should Spurs progress, Redknapp will join a small band of Englishmen to have managed in the Champions League but the former Bournemouth, West Ham and Portsmouth boss refused to brand tomorrow's match the biggest of his coaching career.

"I've had loads of games like that: relegation games, promotion games," said the 63-year-old.

Redknapp's injury problems have eased ahead of the game but he will not be able to call on new signing William Gallas.

The Spurs boss expects the defender, who joined from Arsenal on Sunday, to be match fit after the international break and revealed the 33-year-old would be forced to withdraw from the France squad in which he has already been named.

Gallas is Spurs' second summer signing and may be the last according to Redknapp, who all but ruled out a move for Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano.

He also rubbished reports linking Tottenham with a swap deal involving Peter Crouch and Everton's Steven Pienaar, insisting he had never spoken to David Moyes about the midfielder.

Redknapp reiterated his interest in Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra but believes the former Portsmouth midfielder is highly unlikely to move to White Hart Lane.

"He's on big, big wages at Real Madrid," said Redknapp, who revealed Diarra's agent had been in contact with Spurs' chief scout.

After missing Saturday's Premier League win at Stoke with a groin problem, Jermain Defoe is set to return tomorrow for what he described as "one of the biggest games of my career".

The England striker, who recently revealed he had been carrying the troublesome injury since the World Cup, added: "We've worked so hard to get here and we want to make the most of it.

"Everyone wants to play in the Champions League.

"On Tuesday nights, you don't want to be at home watching Eastenders.

"You want to be at the Lane and playing against the great players of the world."

Press Association

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