Redknapp focus on title push as Spurs leave stars at home
HARRY REDKNAPP arrived in Tallaght last night with the look of a man who won't lose any sleep if his Europa League interest ends this evening, Writes Daniel McDonnell
Tottenham Hotspur need to win and secure a five-goal turnaround between themselves and Rubin Kazan and that's only in the unlikely enough event of the Russians losing in Greece to the already qualified PAOK Salonika.
So, with the Londoners involved at the business end of the Premier League table, minds are turning towards the weekend clash with Sunderland and the reopening of the transfer window.
Star names like Luka Modric, Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker were left behind in London. Indeed, Redknapp has only brought three outfield substitutes with him.
Nevertheless, the travelling party includes seven full internationals, with recognised names like Jermain Defoe, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Nico Kranjcar, Younes Kaboul and Sandro.
Redknapp, who was unaware that Michael O'Neill was leaving, but suggested he would be a good option for Northern Ireland, gave an indication of his feelings when asked about the imminent arrival of Manchester clubs into the Europa League. "Let them have it!" he quipped.
Redknapp believes City will win the Europa League due to the quality of their back-up options.
He also touched on his interest in Carlos Tevez and commented on the difficulty of Ireland's Euro 2012 group, an issue that cropped up as Croatian midfielder Kranjcar had been presented beforehand and spoke openly on the matter.
Kranjcar feels that the showdown between the two lowest seeded teams in Poznan on June 10 will be decisive for their prospects. After describing the August draw as the most boring game of all time, he expects a contrasting occasion.
"It's a group that we believe is really difficult," he said. "And we're happy the way the group is set up, because we play Spain last and hopefully, they'll have won both their games before then.
"I think that both us and Ireland are happy we play the first game against each other."
So, it's a must win for both teams? "Yes, I believe a win is crucial," he replied.
Certainly, more important than victory for Spurs this evening.