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Harry's programme notes

As part of our pre-match build-up for home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's column straight from our official matchday programme.

As part of our pre-match build-up for home games, we publish Harry Redknapp's column straight from our official matchday programme.

NOT AT THE LANE? - You can buy individual copies of the programme online by CLICKING HERE...


Happy New Year to you and your families and a warm welcome to White Hart Lane for our first fixture of 2009.

The year ahead is going to be a big one for us. I feel the second half of this season is going to be massive as we go into January still fighting on all fronts.

In the league we have taken 18 points from 12 games since I arrived and certainly it is a total that amounts to a side that should be sitting comfortably in the top half of the table and we have picked up some good results along the way.

We have to keep going because we were so far behind the other sides at the start of the season and it is such a tight division - just look at West Ham, two wins over Christmas and they have moved from 17th up to 10th in the table.

Fulham proved a difficult side to break down on Boxing Day and when you look at their away form you can see why they have collected so many clean sheets of late.

We started the game brightly but Fulham made it hard for us by congesting the play. There was no space and it proved tough to get balls up to the front players because their back four squeezed up, they left no holes and condensed everything.

The fact that we were also able to achieve a clean sheet was a plus. I thought our back four and goalkeeper were excellent.

Harry's notes

The defeat at West Bromwich Albion was disappointing and playing with 10 men for the best part of an hour was always going to be difficult. I felt we were coping ok until their opening goal which came about following a blatant push on Michael Dawson. But we have to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves down and start again because we still have so much to play for with the league, a two-legged League Cup semi-final, European knockout football, as well as this evening's FA Cup tie with Wigan Athletic to look forward to.

Steve Bruce has done a terrific job with them - they are playing well, having won five of their last six matches, and Steve has built up a good squad of players there. This is a dangerous draw for us.

The FA Cup is a great competition and to get to Wembley and lift the trophy is a fantastic feeling as I was fortunate enough to experience last year. It would be terrific to have another big run in it this season especially at a club such as this where the FA Cup is a big part of its history.

It is certainly a competition the big teams want to win. I remember how much Manchester United wanted to win it last season when we knocked them out with Portsmouth at Old Trafford. Their management and players weren't happy at all and I am sure they, along with every other top club in England, will be going for it again this year.

It does seem strange to be playing an FA Cup fixture on a Friday night but doing so allows us an extra day to prepare before we face Burnley in the first leg of our League Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

This is an important week for us in terms of domestic silverware, so let's hope we can make it a successful one.

Enjoy the game and have a good weekend.