Redknapp could cope with defeat

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Harry Redknapp sought to take the pressure off his Tottenham side for Tuesday's Champions League clash at Young Boys by insisting failure to reach the group stage would not be a disaster.

Spurs are huge favourites to progress to the lucrative first round after landing the easiest possible play-off draw against last season's Swiss runners-up but they are very much heading into the unknown, having not played a European Cup tie for almost half a century.

Asked what coming unstuck would mean, Redknapp quipped: "What can it mean? What are we going to do - commit suicide or something? What are we supposed to do? Listening to everybody, we'll end up hanging ourselves. All you can ever do is your best. If we play at our best, we've got a great chance."

With £10million guaranteed to the winners of this tie, there is more at stake in the next week than Redknapp was prepared to admit.

"Nobody expected us to get here in the first place last year," said the Spurs boss, whose side last season became the first team from outside the so-called 'big four' to earn a place in the Champions League qualifiers for five years.

Redknapp added: "We suddenly went from where we were to finishing fourth in the Premier League.

"People's expectations get very high but I don't think about not qualifying.

"It'll be a difficult game, but we're a good team and I've got great belief in the team."

As well as being unknown territory for Spurs, the Champions League is also new for Redknapp, who will be managing in the competition for the first time in his career.

Admitting it was special to have finally made it to Europe's top table, he added: "It's the players, isn't it? I'm just part of the team and it's what they do. They go out and play on Saturday. The way we play the game, I love being involved with this team."

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Tottenham Hotspur
European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League

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