Redknapp excited by Spurs potential

16 October 2011 05:05

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes his current squad has the potential to be the best he has had at his disposal at White Hart Lane.

Spurs have won their last four Premier League fixtures, recovering well after suffering heavy defeats against Manchester United and Manchester City in their opening two games of the season.

And Redknapp points to the arrivals of Emmanuel Adebayor on loan from City and Scott Parker from West Ham as catalysts for their revival.

With Luka Modric returning to form following an unsettled period during the transfer window, plus the fact none of his squad will be heading to the African Cup of Nations in mid-season, Redknapp envisages a successful season.

The Tottenham manager led the club into the Champions League two seasons ago, but he believes his current squad is even better.

When asked whether his squad could be his best, Redknapp said: "Yeah, I do think that, potentially yeah. It's a good group of players.

"Scott and Emmanuel have come in and they've been a big influence on us this year. And Kyle Walker is emerging as a top-class right-back so we're looking stronger."

On the likes of Cameroon international Benoit Assou Ekotto and Steven Pienaar of South Africa failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, Redknapp added with a smile: "When they came in yesterday I said 'oh no unlucky, lads'.

"If you have a lot of African players, it can be a problem with the African Nations Cup comes around so it has worked out OK for us."

Newcastle, Tottenham's opponents on Sunday, currently occupy the fourth spot coveted by Redknapp, but the Tottenham manager admitted: "If I'm honest about it I don't think they will be challenging for the fourth spot.

"Alan Pardew has done a great job and they're a strong team, but he would think that finishing in the top seven or eight would be a good achievement for them."

Adebayor is a doubt with a hamstring strain and Aaron Lennon may also be unavailable due to a groin injury.

Niko Kranjcar has torn a thigh muscle and could be out for a number of weeks, while Sandro faces a late fitness test on a calf injury.

In-form Newcastle will look to stretch their impressive nine-game unbeaten start to the season in all competitions, their best opening to a campaign for 20 years to see them sit fourth going into the weekend.

The Tyneside club have lost at home just once all year, to Everton back in March, and are confident of adding to a fine record of a single defeat on home soil in Tottenham's last seven visits to the Northeast.

Like many of his Premier League counterparts, Alan Pardew admits the recent international break was an anxious time.

Newcastle's half-a-dozen strong contingent of players representing their country over the last fortnight have all returned unscathed, however, the manager confessed: "I'm always nervous during the international break.

"It is not just injuries, you don't know how much travelling they're doing and what training programme they're on while they're away.

"Jonas Gutierrez has had two long journeys with Argentina. You're just not party to any of it so it is a bit of a nervous time.

"The ones that were due back have come back and look in good shape. Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote are back, and so is Yohan Cabaye. Demba is absolutely fine, there's no injury there and he's in good form."

Source: AFP