Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United: Match Preview

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Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United; Barclays Premier League; White Hart Lane; Saturday February 11, 2012; KO:1730

Team News

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will return to the dugout after missing the scoreless draw at Anfield on Monday due to his flight being cancelled by the weather.

Redknapp will be unable to call on Rafael van der Vaart, while Ledley King, Younes Kaboul and Samdro are all doubts. However, good news comes with the return to fitness of Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon.

Newcastle will be unable to pick Ryan Taylor, who injured his ankle in the lead-up to Demba Ba’s opener against Aston Villa last weekend.

Striker Leon Best was also removed from that game but with more serious knee ligament damage that will keep him out for six weeks, while Yohan Cabaye must serve out the final game of his three-match suspension.

Defoe: It’s all about Harry

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe believes Harry Redknapp is the reason for the White Hart Lane club’s outstanding season so far.

Redknapp’s side currently lie third in the Premier League, are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and look set to have their most successful season in years.

Defoe thinks the influence of Redknapp on the side cannot be underestimated, as he has seen it work while he played under him at West Ham United.

“Some people just have a presence - an aura about them that inspires you to perform,” Defoe told The Mirror.

“That’s what Harry has. He is one of those managers that wants you to express yourself. To enjoy the game, work hard for the team, stick together and win football matches. It's as simple as that.

“He always seems to get the best out of his players. Whether it is players coming to the end of their career who come to the club and kick on to another level, or young players who step up.

“It’s that presence he has. When you play for him, you know that you have to give him 100 per cent. He always stresses how important it is to realise how important we are in life.

“He tells us, ‘You are in a fantastic position in your life. You are doing something you love.’ And yes, we are living the dream. He is a top manager.”

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