Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp: Jol will have a point to prove

Harry Redknapp thinks Fulham manager Martin Jol will be out to prove a point when he visits White Hart Lane for the first time since he was sacked as Tottenham boss on Sunday.

Jol became a fans' favourite at the north London club after guiding Spurs to two consecutive fifth-place finishes, but he was controversially sacked in 2007.

Redknapp is not expecting to receive a helping hand from his opposite number on Sunday afternoon. He said: "Martin Jol was the manager here so he will want to come back and do well with Fulham. He won't want to do us any favours, that is for sure."

Since his spell in charge at Spurs, Jol has gone on to have successful spells at Ajax, Hamburg and now Fulham, who have claimed 52 points - one short of the club's Premier League record - under his leadership.

The game is of huge significance to Tottenham as the outcome could determine whether they qualify for the Champions League. Should Tottenham win they will seal a fourth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League for the second time in three seasons under Redknapp.

Such a feat would normally secure Champions League football, but Spurs need to finish third to guarantee their passage to Europe's top club competition as Chelsea will take the fourth qualifying spot if they beat Bayern Munich in the European Cup final.

To finish third Spurs will have to beat Fulham and hope Arsenal drop points at West Brom while Newcastle also have an outside chance of gatecrashing the top four as they are one point behind Redknapp's team ahead of their visit to Everton.

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe insists his team will not be distracted by all the permutations surrounding Sunday's games.

"We can't think about the other games and all the other permutations, we just have to think about ourselves. That will be our approach," he told Spurs TV Online.

"It's like a cup final for us on Sunday. Finishing fourth was the goal at the start of the season and if you look at our squad we should be finishing in the top four."


From Belfast Telegraph