6:25pm Sunday 13th May 2012
By Chris Hewett
Harry Redknapp was delighted his side clinched fourth place and says he is looking forward to Saturday’s Champions League final that will determine whether Tottenham play in the competition next season.
Spurs ran out 2-0 winners against Fulham to secure their place in the top four but their Champions League qualification rests on Bayern Munich beating Chelsea next weekend to stop the Blues achieving automatic qualification for next year.
Redknapp revealed he will be travelling to Munich to watch the game and believes his side could not have done any more to earn a place in Europe’s elite club competition.
“At the start of the year, Champions League football, fourth position, I couldn’t have asked for more than that.
“You look at the league – Arsenal, Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool spent a fortune and all looking strong. You thought if we can get in that top four you would be absolutely delighted and that’s how I am about it. I couldn’t be more pleased.
“I was just concerned about us winning today – all that mattered was that we won the game.”
Redknapp’s nephew Frank Lampard is likely to start for Chelsea in next week’s final but the Spurs boss said there will be no confusion as to who he will be supporting.
“It is difficult but we’re both professional. He knows I want Tottenham to play in the Champions League next year. If we play against Chelsea I want to beat them whether Frank plays or not – that’s football.
“When I was manager of West Ham and we played Liverpool I still wanted West Ham to win even if Jamie (Redknapp) was playing for them. My allegiance is to Tottenham only – I want to see us in the Champions League again next year.”
“I’m looking forward to the game. We can’t do any more. We won today, finished fourth, I couldn’t be more pleased with what the players have done here this year and nor should anyone else. If people start getting carried away with what Tottenham should be doing I think they want a reality check.
I do think it’s a better achievement than two seasons ago because Man City have become so strong. Last time we finished fourth, Man City were just arriving. I say that but they still had Tevez and players like that – they’d probably only spent £300million.
“It was different then but now it is going to get more difficult next year, every year is more difficult. Man United and Man City are not going to be out of the top four so now you’re looking at two places. I don’t think Mr Abramovich is going to stand for Chelsea being outside the top four next year again so suddenly there’s three teams in and there’s us, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle, all scrapping for it.”
Emmanuel Adebayor, whose season-long lone from City is now up, has been a catalyst for Spurs’ renewed success this season and Redknapp said he wants to hold on to the Togolese striker.
He said: “I’d like to keep him he’s done great for us but we don’t pay those wages. The only way we could keep him is if the chairman does another clever deal like he has done with him this year.
“They don’t want him do they. They want him out of the way – that’s why they let him go.”
The 65-year-old manager also believes Tottenham’s potential Champions League qualification should not make a difference to the type of players the club is looking to sign.
“It shouldn’t matter that much. Chelsea didn’t get in the Champions League this year but it doesn’t mean they won’t try to improve to get there next year.
“If you want Champions League football you’ve got to try as best you can to hang onto the coat tails of the top clubs and it means improving the squad.
“You need a strong squad, that’s the key really.”
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