Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp pleased to return

Harry Redknapp is happy that he can return to managing Tottenham on Saturday evening without having to worry about the possibility of being sent to jail.

Redknapp will take his place in the dugout at White Hart Lane for the first time since he was cleared of two charges of tax evasion on Wednesday.

The Spurs boss has had the threat of being jailed hanging over for him for the best part of five years, but is now relishing the opportunity of taking on Newcastle without having any other concerns in the back of his mind. "It's great to be back," said Redknapp.

"It was always a case of things were going well on the pitch, but I always had that other thing hanging over me - that was a problem for me. Thankfully it's gone now so we will move on. There was never a day when it wasn't there (the court case), we'd have a laugh and then 10 minutes later... Every day it was on your mind.

"It (the trial) knocked me for six. I haven't felt so good for the last couple of days. I went down with the flu. Jamie (Redknapp's son) said I should celebrate (after being acquitted) but I didn't go out in the West End. I went home, had two Lemsips and went to bed at 8.30pm. I slept most of Thursday but now I feel good."

Redknapp admitted he had endured a "crazy" week that started with him in the dock and ended with him being tipped to take over the England manager's job after Fabio Capello's resignation.

The 64-year-old insisted that he has not been approached by the Football Association over the vacant post at Wembley, however, and was adamant that the only thing he was concentrating on was finding a way to beat the Magpies, who have defied the odds this season to move up to fifth in the league under Alan Pardew.

"They are playing well so it will be really hard," Redknapp said. "It has the makings of a great game. Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job there.

"He wasn't really wanted when he took over from Chris Hughton, who was popular, but he has won the fans round and you have to give him and (owner) Mike Ashley credit for that."

Spurs will be without Rafael van der Vaart for the second successive game as he has not overcome a calf injury, but Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe have been passed fit following their hamstring problems.

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