Spurs on a learning curve and hunting top-four spot next season, says King

14 March 2009 01:31

club captain Ledley King has billed tomorrow's BarclaysPremier League match at Aston Villa

as the measure of how far HarryRedknapp's men can go.  

Spurs boss Redknapp is aiming to challenge the top four next season,while King has recently suggested he is already looking forward to the2009/10 campaign. 

Dynamic duo: King and Robbie Keane (right) hope to break into Big Four

There is still the chance for Spurs to climb the current table and they travel to Villa Park to face a club they want to emulate, with Martin O'Neill's side fighting for a Champions League place. 

'It's a good time for us - some questions will be answered after the game,' King predicts.  

'Things have picked up of late; we've had good results, and the last two away games have been positive. We need that against Villa

, because they are a good side in good form. But we have a good feeling about ourselves at the moment.'  

King has been encouraged by eight points from Tottenham's last four league matches, as well as the performance levels during the Carling Cup final penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United.  

'We know we can go places and get results, and that's what we need to do,' King added.  

'We have the players to do it; we need to put in the work and dig deep - you need to do that in every game away from home. If we do that we'll be all right.' 

King is hoping to play in the remaining games this season, because the time between fixtures allows him to rest the chronic knee condition that prevents him from training. 

He could not play earlier in the season when Villa won at White Hart Lane, with the pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young tearing Spurs apart. 

'They are a good side,' said King. 'They have a lot of pace in their team and have a good shape about them. 

'The manager is a top manager - someone I like and respect over the years.  

'You know they are a hard-working, honest team with quality. They beat us earlier in the season. I watched it and saw an honest side, so it doesn't surprise me how well they have done.'  

All eyes will be on Redknapp, because the Spurs manager was targeted by Villa fans when he was at Portsmouth


One fan, who has since received a five-year football banning order, aimed a coin at Redknapp which missed but struck Phil Sharp - leaving the assistant referee with a cut forehead.  

Redknapp has insisted he has no fears returning to Villa Park, focusing instead on closing the gap with Villa over the next year.  

Part of the process will be recruiting the right players, which Redknapp will be responsible for.  

Last summer there were joint decisions made by Juande Ramos, sporting director Damien Comolli and chairman Daniel Levy.  

'It's people spending the money and buying the right players and knowing what they are doing,' said Redknapp. 'That's why Martin O'Neill has done well - because he knows what he's doing. 

'When you get people buying players who don't know what they're doing, then you've got problems - it doesn't matter how much they spend.' 

Happy return: Jermain Defoe (left) has bossted Spurs since returning

Redknapp also needs to keep players such as Luka Modric, which Spurs failed to do last summer.  

'I don't intend selling any of our better players, because we are looking to build a team here,' he said.

'Spurs were unlucky last year; we lost (Dimitar) Berbatov and (Robbie) Keane, after losing (Jermain) Defoe - and it's very hard to replace three strikers. 

'Berbatov went right at the last minute, and that was a problem. I don't see letting people go who I want to keep.'  

There are not many managers who have a better transfer record than Redknapp.  

'I do know what I am doing, which is why I have survived 30 years in this business," he said. 

'I do have a rough idea of who can play football. We all make mistakes, and I have made a few. I have also made quite a few correct ones - otherwise, I would not have lasted as long as I have. 

'I have always bought wisely. I built a team at Portsmouth

without much money, but we paid good wages. 

'The key players were free - Sol (Campbell), (Sylvain) Distin - we paid £1million for (David) James. Kanu was free.'


Source: Daily_Mail