Tottenham Hotspur Vs West Bromwich Albion, Sat 23 Apr 2011

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Harry Redknapp thinks Tottenham's fans should view qualification to next year's Champions League as a bonus rather than a necessity.

Spurs fans may have enjoyed a remarkable debut season in the Champions League, but their place among Europe's elite in next year's competition is far from assured.

Tottenham trail fourth-placed Manchester City by two points after Wednesday night's thrilling north London derby.

Clashes with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid will be remembered for a long time by the White Hart Lane faithful, who would love the club to qualify for a second year running.

Redknapp realises that expectations have increased wildly since he dragged them off the foot of the table three years ago and believes dining at Europe's top table once again would be a remarkable achievement.

"Getting in that top four is a bonus," Redknapp said.

"Every year the same four teams got into the Champions League apart from the one year that Everton broke in and then we broke in ahead of Liverpool.

"Now, suddenly, there's Man City and they want to be in there every year too. Getting in the top four is going to be harder and harder every season."


Redknapp knows a tough run-in, which includes games against Chelsea, City and Liverpool, means that his team are underdogs.

He is nevertheless determined to bring the continent's best teams to White Hart Lane next term.

"We're in a position where we still have a chance," he said.

"It's going to be tight but we have to keep going. We have the tougher run-in than Man City but it's a good end to the season, it's something we're looking forward to, we're fighting to achieve something, that's all you can ask."

Gareth Bale is a major doubt for after sustaining a knee injury in Wednesday's north London derby.

William Gallas and Vedran Corluka (ankle) also picked up knocks in the match and could miss out while Niko Kranjcar is struggling with a foot problem.

Jonathan Woodgate (calf), Ledley King (groin), Wilson Palacios and Alan Hutton (both knee) are all out.

Meanwhile, West Brom skipper Chris Brunt is targeting a top 10 finish to the Barclays Premier League season.

The Baggies suffered their first defeat in seven games under new coach Roy Hodgson when beaten 3-1 at home by Chelsea last weekend.

Brunt believes one more win should be sufficient to ensure Albion earn a second successive season in the top flight.

But the Northern Ireland international has higher ambitions and hopes Spurs' midweek derby with Arsenal will have taken its toll physically.

Brunt said: "I think one more win should be enough. It's tough to put a number on it this season because, over the last few seasons, we'd have been safe three or four weeks ago with our points tally.

"It's a strange season but it's important for us to keep picking up positive results.

"Since the new manager has come in, we've only lost one game and it would be nice to try and keep that going towards the end of the season.

"The higher you finish up the league, the better for the football club as well."

Brunt added: "We've seen Aston Villa in the last few weeks be on the verge of the relegation zone, win two games, and then they're on 40 points and in the top 10.

"If we can pick up a couple of results in the next few weeks, there's no reason why we can't finish in the top half of the league."

West Brom have no fresh injury concerns.

Midfielder Graham Dorrans is the only absentee with the ankle problem which has sidelined him for the past seven weeks.

Albion are unlikely to risk the Scottish international again this season unless he makes a complete recovery from the setback suffered in training.

Hodgson's side will be looking to bounce back from the 3-1 home reversal against Chelsea after collecting 12 points from the previous six games since the ex Liverpool boss took charge.

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Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
Premier League

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