Redknapp: We want Nelsen next year

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Tottenham Hotspur defender and New Zealand international Ryan Nelsen - who arrived at White Hart Lane in a surprise January deadline day deal - scored his first goal for his new club in Tuesday's 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory against Bolton Wanderers.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Spurs boss said: "I just think he is a great professional and a real good player.

"I couldn't believe I got him on a free. I felt it was an amazing player to bring to the club, he is a player I have been chasing for years."

The 34-year-old centre-back has only made five appearances for Tottenham since signing from Blackburn Rovers but is held in high regard by the Spurs boss.

"I have always thought he was top class," Redknapp continued. "A great pro, a great trainer, a fantastic person.

"He has got a six-month contract. At the end of the season you have got to keep him here next year because he's worth his weight in gold just to have around for other people to look at the way he works, the way he trains, the way he behaves, his attitude.

"That's what football clubs are built upon, people like him, Scott Parker, Brad Friedel. You bring them in and it changes everything. That has been the difference this year."

Unfortunately for Spurs, experience has not been enough to stop them from slipping behind rivals Arsenal in the league table but it could be crucial in the final eight games of the season.

Tottenham are three points behind the third place Gunners but lead Chelsea in fifth, by five points in their bid to bring elite football back to White Hart Lane.

The aim at the beginning of the season was Champions League qualification but after sitting in third place for such a large part of the season, that is where they would now like to finish.

Spurs also have to contend with the possibility of Chelsea earning automatic qualification through winning the competition and therefore eliminating the team that finishes in fourth.

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