Tottenham manager says Chelsea could finish second, let alone fourth!
HARRY Redknapp admits that he is shocked to be leading Chelsea at the end of February, and insists the Blues are capable of finishing second – let alone fourth.
Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat at Blackpool on Tuesday meant they missed the chance to leapfrog Manchester City into third – and extend their lead over Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who lie two points behind in fifth place.
Spurs have now played an extra league fixture but Chelsea’s game in hand pits them against league leaders Manchester United at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.
Redknapp admits that he has been surprised by Chelsea’s dramatic decline this season, but is adamant that he isn’t getting carried away by the current standings.
“Finishing above Chelsea this season would never have entered my mind,” said Redknapp. “I fancied them at the start of the season, they were my team to win the title.
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“After 10 games we were all going to give the championship to Chelsea. They were walking away with it so it’s amazing how it’s turned. It’s important for us to take advantage but I still expect Chelsea to go on a run. They can still finish second anyway. They’ve got the players and the strength there, and it will be tight.”
While Redknapp refuses to underestimate Chelsea, he admits that he is also wary of sixth-placed Liverpool, who lie eight points off the top four but have won four of their last five league games.
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“There are six teams there scrapping away, and all have a chance of making the top four,” said the Spurs boss. “It’s going to be difficult but we’re right there at the moment again, as we were last year. Even with the European campaign and the injuries we’ve had, we’re still in there in both competitions so it’s great for us.
“Certainly we have a big chance of getting Champions League football again next year and that has to be a priority for us again.
“I believe that if Tottenham want to keep progressing and we can push on again then, if the ambition is there, eventually Tottenham can win the championship. There is no reason why not.
“We are getting closer, we were fourth last year. We have proved in Europe that we can play against the best teams, so the sky is the limit if we have the ambition to push on.”