Harry Redknapp sets Tottenham target of 19 points to reach Champions League

12 March 2010 06:17
Redknapp revealed that Jonathan Woodgate had flown to Australia for groin surgery while Aaron Lennon shows no signs of returning from a groin strain. In addition Ledley King, Tom Huddlestone, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Carlo Cudicini are all unavailable for Saturday's visit of Blackburn.

Not since Sir Bobby Robson took Newcastle into the Champions League has an Englishman managed a Premier League team in the competition, and Redknapp believes six wins and a draw, from Tottenham's remaining 10 League games, should be enough to beat off the challenges of Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa for the coveted fourth spot.

 Related ArticlesWoodgate recovering from surgery in AustraliaTottenham v Blackburn: previewPalacios wants Real Madrid moveWinter: FA wrong to consider Cup changesFulham 0 Tottenham 0Spurs severely depleted for Cup tieRedknapp said: 'I reckon we're looking at 19 points from our last nine games to have a chance of finishing fourth - we need to win six games and find another draw from somewhere out of some very tough games - Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal, and Man City.

Redknapp saw Arsenal overwhelm Porto in midweek and marvelled at the quality. 'The Champions League is where you want to be, for sure,' added Redknapp. 'The Europa League is a lot of games - Fulham started out in July and they are still playing now.

'I would love the players to have the opportunity to play in the Champions League. It shows you just how strong the English teams are when you look at what Arsenal did to Porto and what Man United did to AC Milan. It shows you just how good our top teams are when the only team you can see stopping an English side is probably Barcelona. You can't really see any others.'

But Spurs' chances of finishing fourth could be affected by the injuries while another key midfielder, Wilson Palacios, is on nine bookings and one yellow card away from a two-match ban.

'We have lost Aaron Lennon for God knows how long and he was absolutely flying. Then we lose Huddlestone and Jenas and Modric was out for months.

'And if Wilson gets booked against Blackburn, he will miss Stoke and the FA Cup replay (against Fulham), which would leave me without any real midfielders for a big quarter-final.

'He played very sensibly at Fulham last week, and there's no reason why he can't carry on in the same way. He doesn't have to get booked. If he closes people down, stays on his feet and doesn't take any chances, he has the ability to get through games without being booked, so he just has to keep going.

'I've said to him 'You're on nine bookings, we're short of midfield players' and he's responded by getting through the last three or four games without getting into trouble.

'Without Jermaine Jenas and Tom Huddlestone, there aren't any games where I can really afford to be without Palacios. Somehow we need to keep him going until April 11 without any more yellow cards.'

Source: Telegraph