Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lennon in line for Spurs return

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says Aaron Lennon could make a surprise return against Stoke on Saturday.

The England winger missed Spurs’ midweek 4-0 Champions League quarter final first leg mauling at Real Madrid with a virus, but could recover in time for this weekend’s match.

“We will see if he feels any better when he comes in on Friday,” Redknapp said. “Whether he will be fit enough to train or not – we are not sure.”

“The kid was unwell – he was too ill to come in to training on Thursday. He will be doubtful but it depends how he is in training.”

With the second leg of that Madrid tie to come on Wednesday there has been speculation that Redknapp could rest some players against Stoke.

But he has insisted Tottenham need as strong a team as possible as they look to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League once again.

“I cannot afford to rest anybody because we have lots of players injured to start with,” Redknapp said.

“We are still trying to make the top four and compete in the Champions League.”

“It is hard trying to compete on two fronts – usually we compete on no fronts here at Tottenham.”

“It?s a tough ask to make the top four of the Premier League and next year it will be even harder because I’m sure Liverpool will be stronger.”

“We finished above Manchester City last season then they went out and spent about 140 million pounds in the summer to try and make sure they made the top four this time.”

Redknapp insisted the midweek flop in Spain has been forgotten because the Stoke game is of vital importance.

“I have forgotten about the Champions League, I am totally focussed on the game with Stoke,” he said.

“Stoke is the next match and that is the all-important game for us and the one we will concentrate on.”

“We have been making lots of chances and only one defeat in the last eight Premier League games.”

“We are playing well but you cannot always win.”

“Stoke is a good club; the fans are unbelievable and they get behind their team. It is a well-run club and it will be tough.”

Tottenham will be without defenders Ledley King (groin), Alan Hutton (knee) and Jonathan Woodgate (calf) and midfielders Wilson Palacios (knee) and Steven Piennar (groin) while Vedran Corluka (ankle) will face a late fitness test.

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