Redknapp puts faith in reserves
Harry Redknapp will field a second-string line-up in Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup third-round tie with Charlton Athletic tomorrow but insists his reserves are good enough to win the competition.
It is a measure of the progress Spurs have made under Redknapp - who expects to add David Beckham to his squad this month - that the FA Cup now figures third on a list of priorities behind the Premier League title race and the UEFA Champions League.
The manager is confident his side can maintain their challenge at the head of the league table and, having reached the last-16, is hoping to spring more surprises in European football's elite competition.
Success at White Hart Lane has brought with it a crowded fixture list and Redknapp intends to nurse his first-choice players through the final months of the season by utilising his squad players in the FA Cup.
Beckham's hoped-for arrival will bolster numbers, but the manager is convinced he has more than enough talent at his disposal to compensate for the absence of leading names including Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, especially against League One Charlton, who go into the game managerless.
Tottenham's squad has been acknowledged as one of the strongest in the Premier League for the last two seasons and Redknapp has experienced internationals including Niko Kranjcar, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka ready to step in.
"They're all fantastic players - if they can't do the job then there's something wrong," said Redknapp. "They need games and they're still a good team. It gives me a chance to get a good game into them.
"I'm not fielding a bunch of kids. I'm fielding a team of international players so we're full of quality. It's not a problem. We've still got the Champions League but for some teams they just kick it in to touch and I don't understand why.
"It's one competition that they have a chance of winning. They can't win the Premier League, they're not going to get into the Champions League but they have a chance to win the Carling Cup and FA Cup and I think they should go for it."
Beckham could be in attendance
Redknapp is anxious to get Beckham on board and hopes the LA Galaxy midfielder could be at White Hart Lane to watch his new team-mates. "It's a no-brainer," he added.
"We can't lose for eight weeks. What could we lose? If he struggles to get fit and just trains it's not a problem. If he gives us something like I think he can it will be great for us. We are not paying money out and I have a good squad I am happy with.
"He could be here on Sunday, if what I'm being told on the grapevine is right. We are at home to Charlton and hopefully he will be here, if he's in the country. If he's here he will come to the game I'm sure."
Charlton dismissed manager Phil Parkinson following the recent home defeat to Swindon Town and have put Keith Peacock in temporary charge for the FA Cup tie. "It is an unexpected situation for me," said Peacock.
"The club asked me if I would take over the managerial side until they have found a permanent man. Unexpected things turn up in football. In this game, as in life, I just take each week as it comes - and that has been my philosophy all the time I have been involved in football."