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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 29 August 2009  - 12:00

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

Harry's programme notes

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

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HARRY'S NOTES v BIRMINGHAM CITY, AUGUST 29...

We have made an ideal start to the season, just the start we wanted obviously, but now we have to keep it going and see where it takes us.

It is early doors so no one should be getting carried away - there is an awful long way to go. It is fantastic to have maximum points on the board because it gives you a real cushion to start the season off with. Nine points is a great start but that is all it is at the moment.

We got off to a flier in our opening game here at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago. It was important to get those first three points on the board, especially against a side like Liverpool who only lost twice in the league the whole of last season. We beat them by the same score line here last November despite them playing us off the pitch. This time we were definitely the better team and this shows just how far we have come in the last ten months.

We have been working hard on pressing teams since we have come back for pre-season. Liverpool passed us to death here last year and we couldn't get near them. This time however we put them under real pressure and forced them to hit the ball long from the back.

We have worked on pushing people forward, being brave and pushing opponents into their own half. Liverpool turned possession over a lot more than they normally do as a result, and I think that was down to the way we worked them.

Barcelona are a great example of this. The size of their team is not too dissimilar to ours but they work hard. Not only do they play when they have the ball, they make it difficult to play against them when they don't have the ball with the way they work and press teams. They ended up as European champions without being a physical team.

You don't have to have giants to win matches and we proved that against Hull City. They probably had the biggest side I have seen for a long time so we weren't going to win a battle with them. We had to play our football. We had to move, keep changing positions, pass the ball and play it quickly to avoid them bullying us off the ball.

It is difficult to get near people when the ball keeps being shifted around so quickly and it proved the case because they couldn't get near us.

The way we played, the way we moved the ball, passed the ball was top-drawer. I saw Hull against Chelsea on the opening day of the season and they were terrific. We knew the KC Stadium would not be an easy place to visit but on the night we were difficult to live with.

It is never easy coming back from a goal down in the Premier League but we showed tremendous character to turn a deficit into a victory at Upton Park last weekend.

We looked bright going forward. We really are an open team and even when we were 2-1 up late on we still had four forwards playing up the field going for it. We may have days when we get a little too open but that is the way we are going to play. We are going to have a go at teams and I think we will score plenty of goals because of the quality of forwards we possess.

We have got strength in depth throughout the squad - international players.

Harry's notes

I made seven changes for the game against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup on Wednesday. You are looking for the lads who haven't played to come in and do a good job.

We are fortunate to be able to call on such quality players. The likes of Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko, David Bentley and Giovani demonstrate we still had a strong forward line and it allows us to do different things against different teams.

It was a good win, we took our chances and everyone looked strong so those lads have given me a great problem.

I am sure you will all join me in wishing Calum Davenport all the best for a speedy and full recovery following an incident in the early hours of Saturday morning. He obviously spent two-and-a-half years here at the Lane but I also had him on loan at Southampton. He is a lovely lad and it was really sad to hear of what happened to both him and his mother. I would also like to send my condolences to Jack Collison whose father was tragically killed on Sunday on his way to our game at Upton Park.

This afternoon we welcome newly promoted Birmingham City to White Hart Lane. I remember watching them here the season before last. They put in a good performance and took all three points away with them so we know they will be difficult opposition.

Alex McLeish is a great guy and has done a terrific job there. They have changed it around over the summer and brought in a lot of new faces. They have got some dangerous players within the squad and I was impressed with the way in which they won promotion last season.

It will be a tough game for us today, but we are playing well and if we continue to show the kind of form that we have so far then we have got a great chance. We have got an international break coming up now and it would be terrific to go into that break sitting top of the league with maximum points. That is the aim.

Enjoy the game.