Ferguson not taking Spurs lightly

Updated: 03 March 2012 09:24 IST

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tottenham's players will be unaffected by the links between manager Harry Redknapp and the England vacancy.

Ferguson not taking Spurs lightly
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London:

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tottenham's players will be unaffected by the links between manager Harry Redknapp and the England vacancy.

Ever since Fabio Capello stood down last month, Redknapp has been the overwhelming favourite to take over as national coach.

And ahead of Manchester United's trip to White Hart Lane on Sunday, Ferguson agrees that Redknapp should be given the opportunity.

"I think the people who will be more concerned are the directors, they'll be worried," said Ferguson.

"I'm sure they'll be wondering what the next step is in relation to the contact the FA make and when they make it because I don't think you can dismiss that eventuality. It's going to happen and they'll be more worried than the actual players.

"The thing about judging any manager is his longevity - Harry's survived all the different types of challenges,

"I think experience helps too, he never seems to panic. Harry seems to be calm about the various parts of games, he never seems to get in a tizzy about things unlike myself."

Ferguson has identified the game at Spurs as vital to United's hopes.

The champions visit Manchester City in the third last game of the season but after their match at Tottenham, they have a run of games that could pile the pressure on Roberto Mancini's men.

Ahead of that game at the Etihad Stadium at the end of April, they face West Brom, Wolves, Fulham, Blackburn, QPR, Wigan, Aston Villa and Everton.

Tottenham were beaten 5-2 by neighbours Arsenal last weekend and are now eight points adrift of a United team that has won five of its last six Premier League games.

But Ferguson is in no doubt about Tottenham's quality despite their recent slump.

"Up until about three weeks ago they were playing the best football in the league. They've hit a little bit of a plateau at the moment but we know that going down there on Sunday is a big game for us and it's the most important game for us so far."

Chris Smalling is a doubt for the game after suffering a head knock during England's 3-2 defeat to Holland in midweek.

Wayne Rooney returns after a throat infection but Tom Cleverley and Antonio Valencia are still out, while the match is likely to come too soon for Michael Owen, who has been out for five months with a thigh problem.

Tottenham will go into the game without the suspended Scott Parker, but Redknapp is hopeful Gareth Bale will have shrugged off a hamstring problem in time to feature.

Bale was at the centre of controversy in last weekend's 5-2 defeat to Arsenal when he was accused of diving to win a first half penalty.

But Redknapp defended the Wales international and said: "I don't think he dives. He takes some rough treatment because he runs so quick and he changes direction so quick and he gets chopped down an awful lot. I don't think he dives. He does genuinely gets kicked."

Spurs are seeking a first league victory over Ferguson's side since 2001 as they attempt to consolidate their hold on third place.

"We will have to be at our very best if we are going to get a result from the game but we have a good chance," Redknapp said. "They are a top team but so are we. It should be a great game."

Topics : Football Ajax Mark Hughes Alex Ferguson Manchester City Wayne Rooney Chelsea Arsenal Barcelona Everton Manchester United English Premier League
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