Harry Redknapp: Everton delay benefited Tottenham

Redknapp claims Everton switch is perfect for Spurs after stuttering start

Harry Redknapp believes the opening-day postponement of the game against Everton may just work in Tottenham’s favour when the fixture is finally staged at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.

The Spurs manager says his side were not at their best at the start of the season, when the riots which scarred Tottenham’s High Road resulted in the postponement.

Chelsea had made a public play for star midfielder Luka Modric and Tottenham were beaten 3-0 and 5-1 by the two Manchester clubs.

Calling the shots: Harry Redknapp has led Spurs to third place in the league

Calling the shots: Harry Redknapp has led Spurs to third place in the league

HARRY'S GRAND PLAN

Harry Redknapp has a plan to thwart Thierry Henry should the Arsenal striker feature against his Tottenham side on February 26.

‘We’ll combat him with Glenn Hoddle or Ossie Ardiles!’ joked the Spurs manager. ‘Graham Roberts or Paul Miller will come back and kick him.

‘I hope Henry doesn’t make too much of an impact because we want to finish above Arsenal, that’s our first priority, but he will have an impact.

‘It just shows you. Paul Scholes comes back at Man United and Arsenal turn to Henry. They’re fantastic, but it’s a bit scary when you see they’re still better than younger players.’

But their fortunes changed in September and they will go level on points with Manchester United in second place if they beat Everton.

Redknapp said: ‘I felt we were struggling back then and the postponement might have been a blessing. We didn’t have a great pre-season in terms of being prepared.

‘I just felt if we could get Scott Parker in and (Emmanuel) Adebayor on loan that would make a difference. We were one or two players short and we had the situation with Luka.

‘But once we got that out of the way with the international break we were up and running. I felt confident we could push on from there and we did. The belief and the arrival of a couple of players made a difference to everybody.’

Bad start: Manchester City thumed Spurs 5-1 back in August

Bad start: Manchester City thumed Spurs 5-1 back in August

Tottenham have lost just once in the
league since August and have won much praise for their free-flowing,
attacking football. Redknapp now thinks the Manchester clubs are doing
more than just look over their shoulders at his side.

He said: ‘They (the Manchester clubs) know we are there or thereabouts. They know we are going well.

‘It will be difficult for us to finish above Man United or Man City. (But) you just never know, do you Getting above Manchester United is something we’ve never thought about. It won’t be easy — they always come back.’

Recovery: Spurs have responded well however and are fancied for the title

Recovery: Spurs have responded well however and are fancied for the title

Recurring injuries to Ledley King and William Gallas mean Redknapp may look to strengthen in central defence this month and the Tottenham boss did not rule out a late bid to snatch Gary Cahill away from Chelsea.

Redknapp is also convinced Tottenham could beat Queens Park Rangers to the signature of Christopher Samba if they opted for the Blackburn defender.

The Spurs boss said: ‘I’ve tried to sign him (Cahill) so many times. He’s a good player and he’s not expensive.

‘Samba is a good player (too). If Tottenham wanted him we would have a big chance, with no disrespect to QPR.’