Tottenham wary of Wolves trap

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Harry Redknapp knows Tottenham Hotspur are unlikely to match their last home performance but is equally aware anything less than a win over Wolves will be regar

Updated: December 11, 2009 17:49 IST
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Harry Redknapp knows Tottenham Hotspur are unlikely to match their last home performance but is equally aware anything less than a win over Wolves will be regarded as a failure.

Spurs produced their most emphatic display for years when they thrashed Wigan 9-1 at White Hart Lane last month.

That bolstered the growing belief this can be the season when they at last break into the 'closed shop' that is the Premier League's top four and claim a place in next season's Champions League.

Consistency, however, is the key to that ambition being realised and manager Redknapp knows three points against Mick McCarthy's side on Saturday are vital if they are to succeed in that aim.

Redknapp though will also be aware that an encounter against a newly-promoted side does not guarantee three points, as last season Hull were fresh to the top-flight when they recorded a 1-0 win in north London.

This time around Spurs are in far better shape as they welcome one of the Premier League's lesser lights, and the significance of maintaining good form ahead of Christmas is not lost on the manager.

"The four clubs (Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool) have had a monopoly on the top four places, and to get in there is hard," Redknapp admitted.

"But we have got a chance. If we sit here and say we will never get there, then we never will."

Last weekend Tottenham led Everton by two goals at Goodison Park, but threw away the lead and travelled home with just the one point.

It would have been a different story if England international striker Jermain Defoe had netted a late penalty kick, but his effort was kept out by United States goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The miss was a rare blot on Defoe's record from this term, as he is the division's top scorer with 12 goals, including five against Wigan.

"It's part and parcel of football and you have to be brave to step up and take a penalty at that stage," explained Tottenham assistant manager Kevin Bond. "Players are going to miss them occasionally and it happens to the best.

"You can't worry about it and you have to move on.

"Jermain's got a terrific goalscoring record, he's scored some goals that maybe he should never have scored and he's just got to move on. I'm sure he'll do that."

The last time these sides met at White Hart Lane was in December 2003, when Spurs ran out 5-2 winners.

It is not the only statistic that does not make pleasurable reading for Wolves supporters, as the club have also recorded only four victories from 42 visits to Tottenham.

Nevertheless, manager McCarthy has found a cause for optimism in the way Stoke City won at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.

"If you play and attack like they do then you will leave holes at the back," McCarthy, whose side are in the relegation zone, said.

"So then it's whether you can exploit them or not.

"Stoke beat them at White Hart Lane but they got absolutely 'mullered'. James Beattie hooked one off the line from under the bar and so did someone else.

"That result struck me as a real travesty, but they beat them and that's what it says in the record books."

Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios has a rib injury, while Croatia playmaker Luka Modric lacks match fitness as he edges towards a long awaited return from a fractured fibula.

Michael Kightly, the Wolves midfielder, misses the trip from the Midlands with an ankle injury while striker Chris Iwelumo is also set to be sidelined as he has still to recover fully from a broken foot.

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