Spurs still in race to finish fourth - Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp
Redknapp guided Spurs into the Champions League for the first time last season

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists his side are still firmly in the race to finish fourth in the Premier League.

Spurs trail fourth-placed Manchester City by four points with five games left and Redknapp is predicting the tussle will go the distance.

"Man City are in pole position now but it's all to play for. We have to be positive and win as many as we can. It can still be done," said Redknapp.

"We have some tough games but I still think it will go down to the wire."

Redknapp's side face a daunting trip to Stamford Bridge to play second-placed Chelsea on Saturday knowing that a defeat, coupled with a City victory over struggling West Ham, would severely dent the north Londoner's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season.

History is not on Tottenham's side, as they have not won away at their west London rivals since 1990.

However, Redknapp remains confident his side can win on Saturday to keep themselves in the hunt for fourth ahead of the potentially pivotal trip to Eastlands to play Roberto Mancini's side on 10 May.

"We need to go to Stamford Bridge and win. It will be a tough game but we have to try and pick up three points to stay in that race," said Redknapp, whose side pipped City to fourth-place last season, partly thanks to a 1-0 win at Eastlands in the penultimate game of the campaign.

"The idea is to be in striking distance when we go to Man City."

Finishing fifth would secure Spurs a place in the Europa League next season but Redknapp is keen to avoid participating in a competition he feels is more demanding than the Champions League in terms of its scheduling.

"Our first year in the Champions League has been hard. It has taken its toll but the Europa League takes a bigger toll," claimed Redknapp.

"Playing on Thursday and Sunday is not ideal but if that's what we end up with that's what we end up with."

Should Spurs fail to qualify for Europe's premier club competition there will inevitably be speculation as to whether they can hang on to star performers such as Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale, the latter of whom excelled during this season's run to the Champions League quarter-finals.

However, Redknapp insisted: "They are not for sale. If you do you sell them, you may as well accept you're a mid-table team.

"We are trying to be a Champions League team and we will not do that by selling our best players."

Instead, the 64-year-old is looking to add further quality players, while also possibly offloading individuals who are on the fringes of the first-team squad.

"If you want to be in the Champions League you have to keep improving. I know that and the chairman does," admitted Redknapp.

"We have lots of players out on loan, so we need to trim the squad a bit, with one or two of those moving on, and bring in one or two top players in."

While Manchester City face a West Ham side who have lost their last four Premier League games and sit bottom of the table on Saturday, Tottenham face a Chelsea team looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven league matches and cut Manchester United's lead at the top of the table to three points.

However, Spurs have been boosted recently by the return to form of creative midfielder Van der Vaart, who scored twice in the recent 3-3 draw with Arsenal and who Redknapp admits is key to his team's chances of making it into fourth.

"Rafa is in great form," added Redknapp, who is likely to be without Tom Huddlestone after his ankle injury flared up. "He was outstanding against Arsenal. He is a goalscoring threat as well as a top footballer.

"We need him tomorrow and he is a big-game player. We are looking for him to turn in a big performance."

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