Redknapp reveals secret of Spurs' success
Harry Redknapp inspired Tottenham to a 2-0 win over Liverpool by warning his players they will have to return early from their holidays if they don't clinch a UEFA Europa League spot.
Redknapp's side leapfrogged Liverpool into fifth place in the Premier League thanks to Rafael Van der Vaart's early goal and Luka Modric's second half penalty at Anfield on Sunday. It means a win against Birmingham on the final day will secure Tottenham's place in Europe's second-tier competition next season.
And Redknapp claimed his pre-match scare tactics had worked wonders after he told his side that if they didn't finish fifth they would be forced to play an early Europa League qualifier because of their high position in the Fair Play League. "I scared them to death before the game and it did the trick," Redknapp said.
"We are top of the Fair Play League which means they would come back in two weeks and would be playing again in June. But we are not fighting for the Europa League, we are fighting for fifth to finish as high as you can and win as many games as you can.
"It's not ideal. You play Thursday night and then Sunday - but if we play in it we will. It's a big win for us. We had to win to finish above Liverpool and we've given ourselves a chance now. We now face a difficult game against Birmingham who are fighting for their lives, but this was a good result."
Redknapp has spoken of his reluctance to play in next season's Europa League given the impact it can have on the Premier League form. But you wouldn't have known that it was a booby prize up for grabs as Spurs played the party-poopers, spoiling Kenny Dalglish's day after he was this week confirmed as Liverpool's full-time manager on a three-year deal.
Redknapp is already looking to next season after their UEFA Champions League heroics took its toll on his players during this campaign. He added: "We missed out (on a top four finish) because of a few injuries and a few tired bodies. We couldn't get the players in January to tweak things a bit. Hopefully we will get one or two in the summer that will make a difference to us.
"It's going to be so tough to make the top four next year. You know Manchester United will be there - that's a given - so that's one place. And you can say Chelsea are certainties too. And Manchester City will probably spend another £100 million to stay there, and Liverpool will be up there under Kenny. So it's a real battle."
With one game remaining, Tottenham's fate is back in their own hands as a result few saw coming ended Liverpool's five-match unbeaten run. Dalglish had transformed the club's fortunes since taking over in January, but was left to rue a poor showing when it mattered most.
He said: "It's a massive disappointment for the players because we wanted to finish well in the final game at Anfield. It's not a race for fifth place that was in my mind. It's just the disappointment at the performance. We feel we short changed the fans by not getting the result."