Tottenham boss Redknapp reveals his plans for Europa League
Younger players will be given opportunities in Europe
Harry Redknapp has revealed that he will be holding onto more of his younger players this season to allow him to play a youthful outfit in the Europa League.
Having disbanded their reserve team two years ago, Tottenham have maintained a policy of sending their emerging talents out on loan.
Kyle Naughton has already joined Norwich for the season, while 19-year-old centre-back Steven Caulker will spend the campaign with Swansea.
However, Redknapp admits that he is planning to retain a number of his junior talents this season, keeping them with the senior squad to enable him to field a second string on the continent.
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“The young players are going to be important now, they’ll definitely play in those European games – Jake Livermore, Andros Townsend and one or two others,” said the Spurs boss. “They’re going to be lads who will get plenty of games in the Europa League.
“I’m going to play the younger players, because otherwise I think it’s going to be a killer, to be playing Thursday and then Sunday every week.
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“We’d have no chance in the Premier League really, it kills you off. It will be a good experience for those boys.
“We’ve loaned a few players out, but we won’t be letting those ones go. We’ve got to keep one or two behind now and give them a chance to play in the European competition. It’s a nightmare, that Thursday night game, and then playing on the Sunday.
“It’s different. Whereas in the Champions League you play Tuesday or Wednesday, it’s just got a different feel to it - and you’re going off to crazy places you in this league. We’ll just give it our best shot in the Europa League and see how we go.”
Livermore was given the chance to shine on Saturday, with the 21-year-old playing the full 90 minutes in Spurs’ 3-2 win at Brighton, while 20-year-old winger Townsend, 19-year-old midfielder Tom Carroll and 18-year-old striker Harry Kane watched from the bench.
Livermore cracked the crossbar with a powerful 25-yard effort in the first half and scored the winner in the 69th minute - albeit from a comical goalkeeping error from Peter Brezovan – and Redknapp admits that he has high hopes for the central midfielder.
“Jake’s a boy who’s been out on loan everywhere. He’s been a bit of a loan ranger - Derby, Ipswich, Leeds. He’s been out on loan an awful lot,” said the manager.
“He’s a lad with a great attitude and he wants to be a player. He works hard, he’s a smashing boy, and we hope that he’s got a chance.
“When I came here I think people had written him off a little bit but I liked him from day one, and I’d love to see him make it. It would be great if he could make it at Tottenham.”
Spurs kick off their Europa League campaign on Thursday August 18, with the return leg coming the following week on August 25 – but Redknapp is much more interested in his side’s opening Premier League clashes.
“We’ve got a hard start, an unbelievable start,” he said. “Everton, Manchester United, Manchester City – and then you’ve got Arsenal and Liverpool, all in the first six weeks.
“It will be interesting, it will be good. We’ll soon find out how good we are.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs
Your views on the Europa League:
@CoachHarryTHFC I speak for all spurs fans. couldn’t care less. youngsters have to play!
@RicheyRevol You don’t speak for all Spurs fans, with the majority believing that a “big” club needs European football.
@Moris21 should def use it to give “squad” players a game. One of the reasons we didn’t get 4th was lack of rotation
@jonnytem blend youth and experience. At the end of the day it’s a trophy, fans will pay money to see the team and it’d be nice to win it
@seanjameskelly getting back into CL has to be our ultimate aim this season. Fringe players should be used in all the ties of Europa League.
@workswanders let the kids have a crack at the early rounds, then gradually introduce more experience the further we get