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Special night for Harry

Posted on 8 December 2008  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp admits returning to former club West Ham United is always a special occasion for him - but he is all too aware of the importance of tonight's London derby for his current side.

Special night for Harry

Harry Redknapp admits returning to former club West Ham United is always a special occasion for him - but he is all too aware of the importance of tonight's London derby for his current side.

Our manager spent eight years at Upton Park as a player in the 1960s and 70s before returning to take charge of the team for a seven-year spell in 1994.

Now he is hoping to lead Spurs away from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League table with victory over the Hammers.

The three points would see us leapfrog the East End side into 15th place, so there is little room for sentimentality on Harry's part.

"West Ham will always be very close to my heart because I was there from the age of 15, so it's a very special football club in my opinion and always will be," he said.

"I've got so many mates who are West Ham fans and I have fond memories of growing up there as a player and going back there to manage.

"This is a very important game considering where we are in the league and West Ham away is always going to be tough. On a Monday night under lights at Upton Park it will be a great atmosphere as well.

"Everyone's picking up results and playing well. It's such a tight division that I don't think there's a single team outside the top five or six not looking over their shoulder thinking they could get sucked in if they have a bad run."

Harry will be pitting his managerial wits against one of the league's newest bosses, Gianfranco Zola, for the first time tonight.

And he speaks highly of the Italian, adding: "I'm delighted to see Gianfranco back in English football because he was a great player and a great guy as well.

"I'm sure he'll get them playing the type of football they like playing at West Ham, and their fans are brought up on attractive, attacking football."

See Harry's pre-match press conference on The Lodge section on Spurs TV Online.

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