Football

Redknapp ready to challenge the elite

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Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp wants his side to follow the example of Aston Villa next season and aim to challenge the Barclays Premier League's top four.

Villa have threatened to break into the Champions League places during the current campaign, although they could be in fifth place by the time they kick-off against Spurs at Villa Park on Sunday.

"For us to be where Villa are? Hopefully next year," Redknapp said. "I would like to be, if you are not looking that way then what are you aiming for? (It's) No good saying 'I hope we finish in the top half next year'. We have to hope for better."

He added: "The size of this club, the potential, the fan base and the money invested, we should be pushing to get up there shouldn't we?

"On our day, we are capable of giving anyone a game - we've got good players here and the club has invested heavily in the transfer window in the last few years."

Redknapp has no safety fears at Villa Park this weekend but risked angering fans further by tipping Martin O'Neill's men to eventually fall away in the race for a Champions League place.

"I think Villa will just miss out on the top four," Redknapp said. "They have done very, very well and they're a good side, but Arsenal have got players coming back now, key players like (Theo) Walcott and (Cesc) Fabregas who will make the difference to them."

Redknapp's prediction is unlikely to go down well with Villa fans, who targeted the Spurs boss for abuse while he was at Portsmouth.

Earlier in the season a supporter narrowly missed him with a coin but struck Phil Sharp, leaving the assistant referee with a cut forehead. John Billington was given a five-year football banning order after an inquiry into the incident.

"The guy who threw it is a moron," said Redknapp. The 62-year-old, when asked if he feared going back, added: "Not in the slightest."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Portsmouth
Football
Premier League
Aston Villa

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