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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 21 March 2009  - 12:00

As part of our pre-match build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's programme notes straight from our official matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our pre-match build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's programme notes straight from our official matchday programme.

You can buy individual copies of the programme online by CLICKING HERE...


We have faced a difficult period of games since playing a cup final and extra-time against Manchester United at Wembley, a fixture we did not deserve to lose. The response has been fantastic and that tells you an awful lot about the squad.

Their attitude and work-rate has been first class and now they are getting the rewards.

We are playing well and that is the key. The squad have rediscovered what it takes to win football matches and we have shown that recently having taken 14 points from our last seven games. We would be flying if we could maintain an average of two points a game over the course of a whole season.

Every Premier League manager outside the top seven will still be looking over their shoulder because there is still little between the teams below us and the four teams immediately above us.

We have seen in recent seasons how any team at the bottom can go on a run and pull out of trouble while another can go into freefall and get sucked into a relegation fight. We just have to continue pushing on and maintain this great run of form we are enjoying at present.

I really felt we carried on from where we left off against Middlesbrough last time out at the Lane, following our great showings in our previous league fixtures against Hull City and Arsenal.

Harry's notes

For us to play with that kind of freedom and score four goals against an in-form side when both of you are scrapping away at the bottom was terrific. There was some great finishing and we looked lively.

A big point was also earned at Sunderland three days later. We got off to a bad start and conceded a goal in the first three minutes but then responded in the perfect fashion by dominating the rest of the game.

I said at half time that we needed to be a bit more creative in and around the box because we were finding ourselves in good positions but failing to finish them off.

Heading into the closing stages you do start to wonder whether a goal is going to come but it would have been an injustice if we had been beaten.

We ended up with three at the back and seven forwards so there was always a risk Sunderland could break away and score a second but we had to go for it and in the end we got the goal we deserved. We would love to have come away from the Stadium of Light with the win but it was just as important not to lose.

I was delighted with the performance we put in against Aston Villa last Sunday. To go to Villa Park, a venue I feel is one of the most difficult to visit, and take three points from an Aston Villa side who are one of the best around at the moment was superb.

I decided to make a change before half-time because we were having problems with Ashley Young. Didier Zokora is one of the last people you want to play against one for one and he proved that with his performances at full-back in previous games against Cristiano Ronaldo and Stewart Downing. However, he got booked early on and I didn't want to run the risk of having to play a big part of the game with 10 men.

Aston Villa possess bags of pace and ability so it was a great result and the early goals in each half proved crucial.

This afternoon we welcome Chelsea to White Hart Lane. They are in great form and probably playing as well now as they have for a long time as we have seen in recent games under their new manager Guus Hiddink.

I faced Chelsea in the league with Portsmouth in the second game of the season and at that time I must admit I thought they would run away with the championship. It hasn't quite turned out that way but I still think they are the biggest danger to Manchester United in the title race. They have a terrific team with great players like John Terry and Frank Lampard - both English and the driving force behind that side.

It won't be easy but hopefully we can put a dent in Chelsea's title ambitions today. We are playing well and have a good record here at the Lane so it should make for a great contest.

Enjoy the game.