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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 6 November 2008  - 12:00

As part of our matchday coverage, we publish Harry Redknapp's column from our official matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our matchday coverage, we publish Harry Redknapp's column from our official matchday programme.

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We showed tremendous spirit to come from behind and achieve a victory against a well-organised Liverpool side on Saturday.

They made it extremely difficult for us especially after they scored so early in the game. Once Liverpool go in front in a contest they are hard to beat, in fact up until last weekend they were unbeaten.

We started the match with Darren up front and Luka in behind him, which is the same system that we had employed and performed well in our previous two fixtures.

However, Liverpool filled the midfield up so well and we were simply unable to get the ball up to the front men. The only way we could play in the first half was back to our centre-halves, there was hardly a forward pass available.

We had to be more direct if we were going to get anything out of the game so we opted for two strikers in the second half. We had to play the ball a bit longer - miss the midfield out in order to try to put pressure on the opposition.

There was no point in playing tight balls into central areas because Liverpool were closing us down and taking the ball off of us and I knew if we continued in this fashion it would not be long before we were picking the ball out the net again, we simply had to get hold of the ball as quickly as we could.

Even then, although Liverpool had some great opportunities, we showed exceptional character and commitment to stay in the game and in the end we got our reward and came away with three fantastic points

This year could be the toughest Premier League yet. At the moment there are only six points separating us from Everton in seventh place. Five of the six teams that started the weekend's fixtures in 15th place or below claimed maximum points. That tells you the quality of the competition and why we have to make league points our priority in order to get ourselves out of the position we are in and climb the table.

Saying this, however, does not mean we will be taking the UEFA Cup or tonight's visitors Dinamo Zagreb lightly. We want to progress past the group stage and into the knockout rounds of this competition. When you put in good performances and start collecting points it is a great habit so we certainly do not want to lose that feeling while we are on this run that we are enjoying at the moment. It is good for confidence and the longer it lasts the better.

Teams have suffered in the past from playing Thursday-Sunday-Thursday in the UEFA Cup but we all want to be in it, and if you do manage to qualify to compete in Europe you have to try your hardest to do your best.

We need at least two wins from our final three group games which should see us through. Only Rangers have failed to progress past this round with six points. If you win your home matches at this stage then I am certain we will still be playing UEFA Cup football into 2009, which is why it is important we pick up three points tonight.

This is not the first time I have come up against a team from Croatia having beaten Osijek over two legs during West Ham's UEFA Cup run of 1999.

Branko Ivanković will bring a skilful team to White Hart Lane this evening - you only have to look at the terrific attributes that our two Croatian players have to realise that. Every Croatian footballer I have ever come across has possessed fantastic technical ability and tonight's opponents will be no different, particularly as they currently sit top of the domestic table with a game in hand.

Luka and Vedran, who both previously played for Dinamo, tell me that they are a good footballing team who rise to the big occasion, having achieved some notable results against big clubs before.

Spurs have enjoyed some great European nights in the past, particularly during the Danny Blanchflower and Dave Mackay era and the days of Steve Perryman and Glenn Hoddle.

I hope we can enjoy a good run in this competition and perhaps savour a few more moments like evenings past.

Enjoy the game.

Harry's notes