Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Tuesday’s clash with Blackpool is just as important as Spurs’ Champions League tie with AC Milan.
Redknapp takes his side to Bloomfield Road looking to claim a victory that would take them five points clear of Chelsea in the race for fourth place.
That would be enough to ensure Champions League qualification for next season, which the former Portsmouth manager feels is as important as continued success in this season’s competition.
And with Italian giants Milan due to visit White Hart Lane for the return leg of their last 16 tie next month, Redknapp has told his men not to get ahead of themselves by focusing on making the Champions League quarter-finals.
“In a way Blackpool is more important,” said Redknapp. “We have had a good run, and now we have to go to Blackpool, and then Wolves next week.”
“People looked at the fixtures (in February), with four of our five games away from home, and people said this would be a defining point in our season.”
“So far we have won all four so we have to keep going now. Certainly we have a big chance of getting Champions League football again next year and that has to be a priority for us.”
“We have to come down (after last week’s victory against AC Milan). From the San Siro to Blackpool, that’s what football is about. It will be a tough game, we know that.”
Redknapp also hailed Blackpool counterpart Ian Holloway and believes his fellow Englishman should be named Manager of the Year if he keeps his club in the Premier League.
“They have been a breath of fresh air,” said Redknapp as he heads to face a Blackpool side that have not won in six games and are just two points above the relegation zone.
“Everybody looked at them at the start of the year and said they would be lucky if they got 20 points, and they have passed that.”
“They have a big chance of staying in the Premier League, and if he keeps them up he should be Manager of the Year.”
But Redknapp will have to do without midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, who has a calf strain, while there are problems in defence with Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton both sidelined through injury.