Harry: Pacemen can keep Spurs in the fast Lane
HARRY Redknapp admits that Tottenham's season could be derailed if the Lilywhites lose star speedsters Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe to injury. The Spurs boss recently oversaw two losses in three Premier League games...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp admits that Tottenham's season could be derailed if the Lilywhites lose star speedsters Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe to injury.
The Spurs boss recently oversaw two losses in three Premier League games against Stoke City and Arsenal, before a deceivingly fortunate 2-0 win over Sunderland.
Redknapp believes it was no coincidence that Defoe was suspended against Stoke and Arsenal, while Lennon missed the clashes with the Gunners and Sunderland through injury.
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And the manager has also highlighted Spurs' performances since the pivotal pacemen returned - a historic 9-1 win over Wigan Athletic and a veritable siege at Aston Villa in Saturday's 1-1 draw.
Tottenham may have been dumped out of the Carling Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, but they travel to Everton on Sunday sitting in third place. And Redknapp has a good idea why his side have turned their Premier League fortunes around in the last two weeks.
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"I think the big key is we suddenly had players back. Defoe was missing and Lennon was missing, but suddenly that bit of pace that we'd been missing a few weeks before was back," he said.
"I've said all along that it's very difficult to be as good when you lose top players. You're never going to be as good without your best players, that's the way the game works.
"The big difference I think was that against Sunderland we missed Lennon's pace. We were short of pace in the team that day. We didn't have a very quick team, whereas against Wigan we had pace and we really got at them.
"Having those two back, they really played a major part in what we achieved that day. Everybody played their part but they gave us that real pace about us and Defoe's finishing was incredible.
"Then to go to Villa and play like we did in the second half, move the ball, keep the ball and pass it so well, that was encouraging. And again, when we've got Lennon and Defoe, we've got a bit of pace. We've had a couple of blips, but we had those two
out and Luka Modric missing, and they are key players for us."
Lennon and Defoe will both be available to face Everton at Goodison Park. And, as Tottenham aim to consolidate their place in the (current) top four, Redknapp has already ruled the Toffees out of the fight for the Champions League spots.
"If you are honest you are looking at us, Manchester City and Villa probably. After that I don't want to be disrespectful to any other clubs but you can't really see anybody else," he said.
"Everton you would have thought at the start, but they've got it all to do now. It's probably seven teams - us three, Liverpool and Arsenal scrapping for those two spots behind Chelsea and Manchester United.