Magpies hold the aces - Redknapp

Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp

First published in National Sport © by

Harry Redknapp admits Newcastle can play without any pressure until the end of the season after watching the Magpies seize the initiative in the hunt for Champions League qualification on Saturday.

Tottenham's dreadful form sunk to a new low this weekend when they suffered yet another defeat, 1-0 at the hands of 10-man QPR. Newcastle, meanwhile, strolled to their sixth straight Barclays Premier League win against Stoke to move three points clear of Tottenham, who now find themselves out of the top four for the first time since November.

"I don't think there is any pressure on Newcastle," the Tottenham manager said. "What (manager) Alan (Pardew) has done there is fantastic, it's a miracle really. To get them in the position they're in has been a great achievement."

Having kept pace with the league's pace-setters for much of the season, Spurs are now facing the dismal possibility that they will not play Champions League football next season.

Newcastle, who have not qualified for the competition since 2003, still have Chelsea and Manchester City to play in their remaining four games, but Redknapp believes Pardew's men will not be intimidated by their run-in.

He added: "They can relax and play. No-one expected them to be anywhere near where they are. You have to give them credit for what they have done. They do look good at the moment. They have three fantastic forwards and they are playing very well."

Tottenham put in one of their worst performances of the season at Loftus Road, where Adel Taarabt came back to haunt his former club by hitting a match-winning free-kick in the first half.

The Moroccan's evening ended on a disappointing note when he received a second yellow for kicking the ball away, but there was no doubt that the home side deserved all three points.

Redknapp's task was made harder by the absence of Louis Saha, Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Ryan Nelsen through injury and hopes to have more players available for Sunday's home game against Blackburn.

"We had to play perfect football to open them up because we were a tiny little team. I only had one fit striker - Jermain Defoe," Redknapp added. "We weren't going to play the ball down the side and cross it for someone to head in. Everything had to be on the floor, everything had to be perfect."


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