Tottenham Hotspur Vs Hull City, Sat 16 Jan 2010

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Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is refusing to allow accusations of tax evasion overshadow what could be a make-or-break fortnight in his side's campaign.

The 62-year-old has been charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue, with the move coming at the end of an exhaustive 26-month police and tax inquiry into alleged corruption in English football.

Redknapp, who has been adamant he has done nothing wrong, has previously described the situation as "farcical" and insists he has not been distracted from preparing for two weeks when his Champions League-chasing side face Hull, Liverpool, Fulham and Birmingham in the Barclays Premier League and Leeds in the FA Cup.

"I've got an awful lot that I'd love to say, believe you me, and when the time is right I will say it but I've been advised not to discuss the matter," Redknapp said.

"We've got to concentrate on the Hull game. It's a big game and that is the only thing that is on my mind. It's got no effect on me to be perfectly honest. I'm ready for the game and looking forward to it. That is about where we are at.

"I'm fine. I don't know how it started but we're certainly reaching closure. My mind has not been off football anyway. The game is what I live for."

With last weekend's trip to Liverpool postponed, Manchester City moved into the top four so the next set of matches will test whether Spurs can keep pace with Roberto Mancini's men.

Redknapp has been encouraged by five consecutive clean sheets heading into the clash against Phil Brown's men at White Hart Lane this weekend.

"We've got five games coming up in the next 14 days - a really important run," he said. "Four big league games, starting with Hull then up to Liverpool, so we need the whole squad.

"Let's hope we can go another five. If we can do that we'll be right in the picture. It's a big couple of weeks for us."

With so many games, Redknapp has ruled out Kyle Naughton returning to Sheffield United on loan.

He has also refuted potential bids for Crystal Palace striker Victor Moses or AC Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini. Internacional midfielder Sandro, however, could be an arrival.

"It's a real possibility but I'm not sure where the chairman is in terms of the deal," Redknapp said.

Jamie O'Hara will go straight back into Redknapp's squad if Portsmouth's transfer embargo is not lifted and the midfielder is unable to re-register on loan.

Hull veteran Nick Barmby insists Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe must be included in Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Barmby enjoyed six years at White Hart Lane and made over 100 appearances under Terry Venables and Ossie Ardiles.

The diminutive Hull-born striker eventually quit Spurs for Middlesbrough in 1995 amid suggestions that he was homesick, though Barmby has always denied that was the reason for his departure.

Now helping his home team's fight for survival, Barmby is sure to be given a warm welcome by the home fans when Spurs entertain the Tigers tomorrow.

Phil Brown's relegation-haunted side were battered 5-1 at the KC Stadium at the start of the season, with Defoe grabbing a hat-trick as Spurs went top of the Premier League.

"Jermain is probably one of the top three finishers in the Premier League," said Barmby.

"The way he hits the ball is fantastic and his technique is superb.

"For me, the way Jermain has applied himself is impressive. He has worked hard in the summer and got stronger.

"He has not rested on his laurels. He wants to get better and that for me is fantastic. I am sure he is a cert for the World Cup if he does not get injured."

Barmby is now 35 and although his contract expires in the summer, he insists there is no hurry to sort out his future.

"I still have the desire inside me," said Barmby. "I would like to play on for another season. My contract is up in the summer but I am pretty flexible with things like that. The main goal for me is that we stay in the Premier League."

Hull midfielder Dean Marney is included in the squad, defender Paul McShane has overcome the hamstring injury which has ruled him out of the last three games.

However, Jimmy Bullard (knee) is likely to be out until the end of the month and Daniel Cousin is also on international duty.


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Tottenham Hotspur
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