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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 16 May 2009  - 12:00

As part of our build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's exclusive column from our official matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's exclusive column from our official matchday programme.

For Benoit Assou-Ekotto's thoughts on the game and what else is in the programme, CLICK HERE...

DON'T MISS OUT - You can order programmes online by CLICKING HERE...

HARRY'S NOTES v MANCHESTER CITY, May 16...

It proved a tight game against West Brom in our last home match a fortnight ago but to be honest I did not expect anything less.

Overall I was pleased with the performance, it was another terrific three points and another clean sheet - our sixth one in succession at home in the league - which is important.

We changed our system away at Everton last week. We employed three central defenders and wingbacks, accompanied by three in midfield and Luka Modric floating in behind the two up front. It was the first time I had played that way with this team but we had worked on it for a few days in training the week before and it helped me learn a bit more about the squad.

This team is perfectly set up to play that way too. Gareth Bale and Alan Hutton are both attacking fullbacks and so this formation gave them the perfect opportunity to get forward.

There weren't too many chances for either side so 0-0 was probably a fair result in the end. The goalkeepers certainly didn't have too much to do and I think we ended up cancelling each other out a bit but it was a good learning experience. You can never be too disappointed about coming away from Everton with a point.

We welcome Manchester City as our visitors today. Mark Hughes has always produced teams that are hard-working and organised, but at Man City he has got a team that probably plays more off the cuff than any other team he has managed before thanks to some great individual players. They certainly possess bags of ability.

Harry's notes


Their recent league form has seen them gather momentum and lifted them up the league table to a position where they will fancy their chances - along with us, Fulham and West Ham - of finishing seventh and claiming the final Europa League spot.

It is going to be tight but we are delighted to even be in with a chance of getting into Europe considering the start we made. For my own pride, I would love to qualify for European football.

We have played some fantastic football of late both at home and away and are a much-improved team - that is down to the efforts of the players, who have not only made seventh place a realistic possibility but also taken us to a League Cup Final this year.

I believe the turning point of the campaign came away at Hull, when we took the three points thanks to a late winner. We'd lost our previous four away games in the league to late goals, so that victory gave us a real boost and we pushed on from that night at the KC Stadium.

A fine win over Middlesbrough here at the Lane just three days after standing toe-to-toe for 120 minutes with Manchester United in the League Cup Final was another big result for us. They were two defining games in our campaign.

I've also been delighted with the progress of some of our younger players this term, it's great to see the kids breaking into the first team and shows their peers that it can be done.

The likes of Dean Parrett, John Bostock, Jon Obika and Ryan Mason all made their debuts for us this season and there's nothing I like more than to see youngsters getting the chance they deserve. I'm also a big believer in the loan system and we've been able to send out quite a few of the young lads to league clubs, where they have gained valuable experience.

I certainly believe we have a lot to look forward to at Tottenham. We have all the right things going for us - plans for a new stadium and training ground, they are all in place. We just need to move the team up another notch. The Chairman is as keen as me to push on. He has already shown his ambition and he wants to keep moving forward.

One or two additions in the summer will make a big difference to us and if we can make a decent start then there is no reason why we can't push for a higher league position, perhaps maybe even challenge the top four. We know how difficult of a task that is going to be but there is no reason why Spurs can't be one of the clubs pushing for it.

As this is my final programme column of the season I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the club including our fantastic supporters for making me feel so welcome since my arrival. I knew before I came that this was a great club with a fantastic reputation around the world, and the support and encouragement I've received has only served to re-enforce that.

I also want to show my appreciation to my coaching team - Kevin, Joe, Tony, Clive and all the backroom staff. We came together here in difficult circumstances and have worked together as a team to turn things around. They provide me with great support on and off the training pitches and I'm extremely grateful for their efforts.

Finally, may I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable summer. Have a good afternoon and I look forward to seeing you all back here at White Hart Lane next season.