Harry Redknapp has been Tottenham boss for less than six weeks and is already one tie from Wembley following a 2-1 Carling Cup quarter-final victory over Watford courtesy of Darren Bent's winner.
Tamas Priskin gave Brendan Rodgers' side an early lead at Vicarage Road before Roman Pavlyuchenko netted for the holders from the penalty spot to maintain his record of scoring in each round of this season's competition.
Redknapp's magic touch has turned Spurs' season around and it worked again when he brought on Bent as a substitute to score the winner with 14 minutes remaining.
On paper it did not look like Watford had a chance - Aidy Boothroyd left as manager a month ago, Sir Elton John severed ties as president of the club, then Graham Simpson resigned as chairman on Monday.
Despite the turmoil behind the scenes, Rodgers was given the perfect start when Priskin netted in the 13th minute from a move that started with Jon Harley stealing the ball off Aaron Lennon and racing forward.
The ball was worked to Tommy Smith, whose cross found Priskin with his back to goal - but the Hungary striker turned Jermaine Jenas and fired into the bottom corner for his third of the campaign.
Spurs inevitably battled back. Scott Loach saved at full stretch from Lennon to keep the hosts ahead, while Pavlyuchenko took advantage of a mix-up between Leigh Bromby and Jay DeMerit - but his finish crashed off the crossbar.
Jenas was then fouled by Ross Jenkins for the penalty, tripping him when the Spurs midfielder nicked the ball. Pavlyuchenko tucked away the spot-kick.
Jenkins almost atoned for giving away the penalty immediately after the restart when he shot from the edge of the area, only for Michael Dawson to race out and block bravely.
Redknapp replaced Fraizer Campbell with Bent midway through the second half, who struck 11 minutes after coming on. Liam Bridcutt won the ball with a challenge on Lennon but it played in Bent, whose finish at the near post should have been kept out by Loach.
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