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Harry Redknapp urges his ailing Tottenham squad to push for top-four finish
Published : 16 Apr 2010 22:27:24
Redknapp confirmed on Friday that Niko Kranjcar would play no further part this season due to an ankle injury and revealed that two other key Tottenham players were likely to miss the visit of Chelsea, when for the second time in four days Spurs can puncture title ambitions. On Wednesday a 2-1 north London derby victory effectively ended Arsenal's title challenge. Redknapp admitted that he would become a Manchester United fan briefly when he watched the lunchtime derby against City today before embarking, at teatime, on attempting to halt Chelsea's march towards their third Premier League title and improve their hopes of fourth place. Tottenham's run-in offers a remarkable clash with rivals at the top of the table. Having overcome the disappointment of their FA Cup exit by beating third-placed Arsenal they follow Saturday's game against the leaders by visiting second-placed Manchester United. After their final home game, against Bolton, they travel to fourth-placed Manchester City before finishing at relegation-threatened Burnley. Redknapp is also without Jonathan Woodgate and Carlo Cudicini for the rest of the season while Vedran Corluka misses the visit of Chelsea and could also be unavailable at Old Trafford. Wilson Palacios is suspended for the match on Saturday and if one adds the prolonged absence of England winger Aaron Lennon, not to mention Jermaine Jenas to the list, Redknapp could be forgiven for ruing his luck with injuries. He also claimed that two other players would miss Chelsea after one injured a groin in training and another was sent home with illness. It is understood one of the latest victims could be Jermain Defoe, meaning that former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen would be in line to face his former club. "At least we've got something to play for at this time of the year," said Redknapp, "and we've got a great chance of trying to finish fourth. "We've beaten Arsenal and we can have a big say with Chelsea. If we can knock them over and if Man United have won, it opens the whole thing up again. "But we've picked up one or two injuries to key players. It's probably tiredness. They came for training, did nothing and suddenly one's done a groin out of nothing really, just having a stretch in the warm-up." Redknapp admitted that Kranjcar played through the pain barrier to last against Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final, adding: "Niko picked up a terrible [ankle] injury at Wembley and played on. The courage he showed was unbelievable. "Wilson will be back next week and Jenas should be. He's had a virus but another week and he'll be fit. "So we should get one or two back as well, which will make a difference."