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Forward thinking

Posted on 7 November 2009  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp insists the team have not been dwelling on last Saturday's North London derby defeat ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland.

Harry Redknapp insists the team have not been dwelling on last Saturday's North London derby defeat ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland.

Instead, the manager has chosen to focus on the matter in hand - a tough game against a Black Cats side he is certain will feature in the top ten come May.

Harry feels his players are well aware of mistakes made at the Emirates that led to a 3-0 defeat a week ago and are ready to put that game firmly behind them.

In Friday's pre-match press conference, he said: "We've spoke about Arsenal and the goals we conceded and the players know what they did wrong and are determined to put it right.

"However, if you over-analyse the negative stuff too much, I think it can have an adverse effect on players and fear can start creeping in.

"They've got to go out and play tomorrow with the freedom that we always do at The Lane, and if we play the way we can we're very hard to play against.

"We're strong and playing very well, so I think we'll take some beating tomorrow. I think we can beat anybody at home, and I'm looking forward to the game."

On Saturday's opponents, Harry continued: "Sunderland are a massive club with a great chairman in Niall Quinn, so I believe they can achieve anything in the long-term.

"They're a top-half team in my opinion, and Steve Bruce has done a good job wherever he's been. I like him both as a person and as a manager.

"I think they'll finish in the top half this season, but it's up to them as to how high they finish within that ten.

"They'll have three or four ex-Spurs players playing, and they're good players, so they'll be looking forward to the game and want to play well tomorrow."