Memorable campaign delighting Redknapp
Harry Redknapp believes Tottenham's fans will look back on this year as one of the greatest in the club's history.
Spurs' debut season in the UEFA Champions League will come to an end on Wednesday night unless they complete the unlikely task of overturning the four-goal deficit from Tuesday's quarter-final first leg defeat to Real Madrid.
Before this week's trip to the Bernabeu, the Londoners had dispatched both giants from Milan, Dutch side FC Twente and Werder Bremen in a series of pulsating games that have won the club, and their manager, many plaudits.
Last winter's two matches against Inter Milan, in which Gareth Bale grabbed the world's attention with two stunning displays, will live long in the memory of the club's fans, who have not enjoyed seeing their team compete in Europe's top club competition since 1962.
The campaign may have started to take its toll on the squad with injuries recently, but Redknapp admits he has enjoyed giving the club's supporters some of the most exciting memories of their lives.
"It has been a fantastic season. We have got into the last eight of the Champions League in our first season," Redknapp said. "It has been an amazing achievement at the club and the crowd have seen some fantastic football this season, it don't get much better.
"The crowd can't complain. They have seen some great European nights. It's a new experience and it's tough but we're loving every minute of it. In the last 15 years we have come close to finishing in the top four, but in the main we have been ninth or tenth."
Redknapp's reluctance to write Spurs' chances off despite trailing the nine-time champions by four goals is an indication of the belief he has in his squad. Tottenham came back from 3-0 down to beat Young Boys Berne in the qualifying round and almost drew with Inter Milan in the San Siro despite falling 4-0 down after Heurelho Gomes' early dismissal.
"I look at the whole season with how it has gone and I think that we are not out of it yet. Nothing is impossible. Who knows what can happen," the 64-year-old added.
Spurs host Stoke today looking to reduce the five-point gap that separates them and the top four. The north London outfit have struggled for form recently, going without a win in almost two months to put them on course for a place in the UEFA Europa League.
Redknapp admits the prospect of playing in the competition does not exactly excite him. He added: "Nothing compares to the Champions League, it is different class. It's on absolutely another level."
One of the few plus points to come out of Tuesday's defeat was the fact that Bale gave the Real defence, and right-back Sergio Ramos in particular, a torrid time with his pace. Midfielder Jermaine Jenas thinks the 21-year-old's return from injury gives the squad cause for optimism ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane.
"It's a huge boost that Gareth is back," Jenas said. "He played well in Madrid after not playing for a long time and he ran his socks off for the team. I'm sure we will go into the match all guns blazing," the midfielder added. "The manager is into attacking football."