22 August 2014 17:29
Harry Redknapp is looking forward to returning to Tottenham as he takes his QPR side to White Hart Lane for Sunday’s Premier League clash.
Redknapp took over at Spurs in 2008 with the club bottom of the table but, by the time he left in 2012, he had secured three consecutive top-five finishes in his trio of full seasons in charge.
The 67-year-old managed the team in the UEFA Champions League in 2010-11 where, inspired by Gareth Bale, they produced some breathtaking football before being knocked out in the last eight by Real Madrid.
The former West Ham boss faced his old club in QPR’s last stint in the Premier League, overseeing a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road in January 2013, but Sunday’s game represents Redknapp’s first return to a club where he is still held in high regard.
“I’m looking forward to going back, I had a fantastic time at Tottenham,” Redknapp said.
“I loved every minute. It’s a great club and I had a good relationship with everyone there.
“I’ll be seeing a lot of old faces and friends but we’re trying to get three points. I’m QPR manager now and this is my team now.
“It should be an attacking game with both sides looking to go for it. They’ve got fantastic players, they spent about £120million last year so they’re entitled to be a good team.”
QPR’s first game back in the top flight after a one-season absence ended in disappointment last weekend, as Charlie Austin missed a late penalty in a 1-0 home defeat to Hull City.
Spurs, by contrast, snatched a stoppage-time winner at Upton Park, Eric Dier earning Mauricio Pochettino a 1-0 victory in his first league match in charge.
Pochettino’s men followed that up with further success in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, as a much-changed side came from behind to beat AEL 2-1 in the play-off round first-leg tie in Cyprus.
Fresh from his arrival from Southampton, Pochettino is the man tasked with leading Spurs back to a top-four finish and a place in Europe’s premier club competition.
The Argentinian will manage a competitive game at White Hart Lane for the first time, and is likely to revert back to much the same side that defeated West Ham on the opening weekend.
There will be one enforced change, with Kyle Naughton serving a one-match suspension after receiving a red card at Upton Park, while Kyle Walker (pelvis) and Vlad Chiriches (back) remain doubts.
Redknapp confirmed that Leroy Fer – signed from Norwich City on Wednesday – would go straight into the squad, but fellow new arrival Eduardo Vargas is still awaiting a work permit.