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Seize the day!

Posted on 5 April 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp has urged his team not to let the experience of a lifetime pass them by at the Bernabeu tonight.

Seize the day!

Harry Redknapp has urged his team not to let the experience of a lifetime pass them by at the Bernabeu tonight.

A Champions League quarter-final first leg with Real Madrid is all set up to be one of the great European nights in our history.

But the manager knows we will only enjoy the experience if we put on a performance that keeps our hopes in this famous competition alive.

Harry believes Jose Mourinho’s men will provide the sternest test of our Champions League credentials to date, despite us having dispatched both Milan sides in earlier stages.

But he also sees no reason why his team cannot be more than a match for European football’s most successful club.

Harry said: “It is a great experience, great for me and great for the players and I'm looking forward to it. But it’s only a good night if you play well.

“It depends on the 90 minutes. That's all that matters. Real Madrid are one of the great clubs and it’s great to be bringing a team here, but if you don't play well it's not a good night.

“We have to play well. It’s not just a case of turning up. We want to keep progressing. The dream is still there for us all and we want to make that dream come true. There is still a chance and we have to make sure we take it.

“I do think this will be the most difficult game so far. The two Spanish teams are better than the Italian teams in my opinion and I said that from the start, that Real and Barcelona were the two teams to beat.

“Once the game starts they have fantastic players and we have to deal with that, but we have good players who can cause them problems. We have to give them more problems than they give us. That's the way we approach the game.”

The key to our Round of 16 victory over AC Milan was our positive start in the first leg at the San Siro that ultimately led to a 1-0 win that night – which remained the aggregate score in the tie overall.

So Harry believes the start could be all important again at the Bernabeu, adding: “We have to make sure we start the game well.

“We started well in Milan and had a good 15-20 minutes to play into the game and be confident. We have to do the same again. I don't want us to start the game badly and find ourselves in trouble.

“This is no different to AC Milan. That was the same, a knock-out game. We came through that. Now we face another top club but we will approach it in the same way. We're coming here with a big chance.”