Redknapp says ‘pressure is off’

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Manchester City is under more pressure than his side to win Thursday morning’s battle for a place in the Champions League.

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Redknapp’s fourth placed team are just one point ahead of City with two games to go and will clinch a spot in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time if they win in Manchester early Thursday morning.

“There is no pressure on us,” Redknapp told AFP. “At the start of the year we all felt that if anyone was going to break in to the top four then realistically it was going to be Manchester City.

“At the start of the season, we would have been delighted with a European place at the start of the year or being in the top seven, so to have a chance of making the Champions League is great for us.

Redknapp has taken ‘Spurs’ from a disappointing plummet under former manager Juan Ramos to being on the verge of breaking ‘The top fours’ stranglehold on Europe’s most prestigious competition.

“It would be nice if we could be there. But it is going to be tough.” he said.

At the other end of the field is a Manchester City side much maligned for its recent bully tactics in the transfer market and a club who only a few seasons ago were faced with relegation battles as a yearly task.

Money has streamed into City

After the club was bought by Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008, money streamed into the club with outlandish and outrageous bids on some of Europe’s top stars helping the club with the purchase of internationals such as Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor.

“They have bought some fantastic players, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy, they had a real go in the summer and improved their squad massively.” Redknapp told AFP.

He also predicted that City, who have already been linked with moves to buy a host of the world’s top players for next season, will win the Premier League possibly in 2011.

“With the players that people tell me they’re trying to bring in over the summer, they’re going to put a team together that could win the championship. They probably will win it.

While pressure in the worlds most watched club competition is standard Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has urged his players to forget their nerves and see the game as an opportunity to “change the history of the club”. Mancini told BBC sport.

“Being in the Champions League would allow us to progress. It is important for the club and everyone here,” added Mancini.