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12 January 2013 10:57
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Redknapp: No problem with Villas-Boas

Harry Redknapp has denied any animosity exists between himself and Andre Villas-Boas as he plots the downfall of the club that unexpectedly sacked him last summer.

Relegation-haunted QPR host Tottenham at Loftus Road on Saturday, with Redknapp meeting his former employers for the first time since being shown the door in June.

The build-up to the capital derby has been dominated by the personalities of Redknapp and Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea manager who succeeded him at White Hart Lane and has since guided the club to third place.

Having masterminded Spurs' fourth-placed finish in the Premier League, Redknapp now finds himself repairing the damage incurred by Mark Hughes' failed regime at QPR, but there is no sense of bitterness.

"I don't have a relationship with Villas-Boas but then I don't have a relationship with any other manager in the Premier League," Redknapp said.

"I don't socialise with him, he's gone to Tottenham and done a great job. What's the problem? I've got no problem with him at all.

"If I had something bad to say about him I'd say it, but I don't know him.

"I'll shake his hand after the game and invite him in for a drink, whatever the result. I don't have any problems with him. He seems a nice guy.

"I won't be thinking `it's Tottenham, we have to beat them'. QPR are my club now, I'm not interested in Tottenham."

Kyle Walker insists Tottenham's form will not fizzle out in the second half of the season as it did last term.

Last January Tottenham were within touching distance of the Barclays Premier League summit, but their north London derby loss at the Emirates Stadium triggered an alarming meltdown which ultimately cost the club a place in the Champions League, and Redknapp his job.

A poor run of just one win in nine matches saw Spurs slip from second to fourth, with Chelsea's victory in the Champions League final in Munich providing the hammer blow for their neighbours' dreams of playing among Europe's elite this term.

Villas-Boas has guided Tottenham to third and while his team are huge outsiders to top the table come May, finishing third or second is a distinct possibility.

But Walker knows the team cannot afford a repeat of last year's collapse if they are to succeed.

"Last time we faded off in the second half of the season," Walker told Spurs TV Online.

"Things like that happen, it's just football, but this year we have said that we are going to kick on around Christmas and the new year so we can get that third spot.

"It's very close up there this season. The two Manchester clubs are a bit away, but then there's us, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and West Brom.

"That makes it exciting. It keeps you on your toes. And going to teams that are struggling like QPR, you know you need to get those three points to keep in contention to make sure you are there at the end of the season."

Walker, who spent six months at QPR on loan two years ago, insists Spurs will not have any problems overcoming the west London club if they play to their potential.

The England right-back said: "You never know what might happen in football, it's a weird sport, but if we play as we have been doing we'll have no trouble."

Villas-Boas has no fresh injury concerns.

Defenders William Gallas (calf) and Younes Kaboul (knee) are the only players unavailable to the Portuguese.

Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor will play his last game for the club before departing to the African Nations Cup.

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

England 2 0 0 6 6
Belgium 2 0 0 6 6
Tunisa 0 0 2 -4 0
Panama 0 0 2 -8 0
Last updated : 10:18