• Premier League

AVB: Redknapp has advantage ahead of meeting

ESPN staff
January 10, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Andre Villas-Boas has claimed QPR boss Harry Redknapp has a "big advantage" due to his knowledge of the Tottenham Hotspur team, ahead of the clash between the two sides at Loftus Road this Saturday.

Redknapp departed White Hart Lane last summer, with the Portuguese eventually taking over. And Villas-Boas believes the Englishman's familiarity with the Spurs squad could help him as QPR plot another league win.

"I think it's a big advantage. In the end, when you manage a club you know your football players very well," Villas-Boas said. "You get to know them, you get to know their qualities and I think Harry can take advantage of that.

"Obviously, everything has changed recently for him in the fact that he has gone to QPR. The fact that he won against Chelsea is such an important boost of confidence. The fact he knows these players well can play to his advantage, I think there's no doubt.

"We approach the game on a good run of form too, full of confidence and wanting to profit from a weekend when the top teams meet each other."

He added: "With the way they can be in these games, that knowledge can always serve you well. It's always very difficult to understand whether that is going to make a difference in the game. I think his knowledge of these players is second to none because he was here with these players three-and-a-half years with tremendous results.

"They have done things together, he knows what makes them tick and what they are not so good at.

"Whether that will make a difference or not nobody knows. I think he is aware of what he has to exploit in his team for sure."

Villas-Boas conceded that Redknapp might be fired up for this game, but said it offers no extra motivation for him personally and that he is only concerned with concentrating on Champions League qualification.

"No, what I want is for us to profit from a weekend where the top teams meet each other," he said. "It will be excellent for us if we can get [Manchester] City in between this battle between ourselves, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton.

"That is our objective, to shorten the gap to the top and open the gap to the teams who are below us so in the end if this could happen this weekend it would be perfect for us. That is what we hope for."

Villas-Boas, however, backed Redknapp to bring QPR out of trouble:

"As soon as they pick up that momentum I think anything can happen. Everything can change. He knew the task in hand when he went in to the job. He knew it wouldn't be easy. He has individual quality there, a good mix of players.

"To get them playing together is a big task but I think the ingredients are there for him to do it and that is what he wants. It's five points' difference to salvation. I think it's absolutely nothing."

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