Redknapp: Cup matters despite changes
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp insists the FA Cup is important to him this season, but is still preparing to make changes to his starting XI for the match against Peterborough.
Spurs start 2010 in fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and with their best chance of breaking into the UEFA Champions League since 2006, and staying in the hunt for a place in Europe's top competition remains the priority. With that in mind, Redknapp looks set to field some of his fringe players against Posh, including the likes of Alan Hutton, Gareth Bale and Giovani dos Santos. Even Roman Pavlyuchenko has a chance, as Jermain Defoe has been carrying a knock to his foot.
"It's very important. It's a big game and we want to keep winning," Redknapp said. "I'll make a few changes and one or two of the lads that haven't played recently will get a game because they have worked hard.
"Those that come in will be ready to play, I'm sure. Hopefully we can turn in another terrific performance. We've been in great form."
Although they have not won the trophy since 1991, Spurs have pedigree in the FA Cup and Redknapp himself was a winner with Portsmouth two seasons ago. Redknapp also enjoyed famous victories over Manchester United in the Cup while at Bournemouth, West Ham United and Portsmouth, but there is a different focus this season as Spurs have a real chance of breaking the monopoly at the top of the league.
"Obviously it's going to be difficult to finish in the top four, I've said that from day one, but that is the ambition," he said. "We have to try and believe we have a chance of doing it. It's not going to be easy; there are top teams up there like Liverpool, Villa and Man City. Arsenal are in great form and Man United and Chelsea are certs to be there. We'll give it our best shot."
Redknapp is wary of an upset against Peterborough after his playing career at West Ham. "We had some real nightmares at West Ham," he said. "I remember going to Hereford and scraping through when they were a non-league team.
"It was the year they famously beat Newcastle with that Ronnie Radford goal and that win really took the whole country by storm. We ended up winning 3-1 in a replay.
"We also lost to Mansfield. They were in the old Fourth Division and we went there for a fourth-round tie [in February 1969]. We had Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds and we got beaten 3-0. It's safe to say it's a competition like no other!
"They are all tough games and Peterborough will be the same. There are no easy games in the FA Cup, that's for sure."