Redknapp denies Spurs contempt for Europe
SPURS manager Harry Redknapp has denied that he is treating the Europa League with contempt.
Spurs landed in Greece yesterday afternoon ahead of their first Group A match against PAOK Salonika.
The Tottenham boss has left 10 of the XI who started Saturday's 2-0 win at Wolves at home in order to rest ahead of this weekend's crunch league game against rivals Liverpool.
That means the likes of Andros Townsend, Jake Livermore, Giovani dos Santos and Yago Falque will start amid what is expected to be a white-hot atmosphere generated by PAOK's notorious fans at the Toumba Stadium. Redknapp has always made it clear he prioritises the league over Europe and recently described tonight's game as a "nuisance".
But he insists that he is not disrespecting the competition, pointing to Spurs' mounting injury list and the importance of Sunday's game as the reason why he has left stars such as Gareth Bale, Scott Parker, Emmanuel Adebayor and Luka Modric at home.
"It's not a case of prioritising a game, it's just (using) what I have got," Redknapp said.
"I couldn't bring players out here, play them and play the same group against Liverpool. If I get a few injuries I have no back-up. I have nine senior, very, very good players who are injured."
Spurs opted to train at their Chigwell base yesterday morning instead of at the stadium.
Redknapp denies that this is also a sign that Tottenham are not treating the competition with enough respect.
"We are not arrogant. We just decided that we would train at home rather than here," Redknapp said. "Lots of teams do that. Arsenal do it for their European games. If we travel and train on the pitch everyone can see what we will do in terms of set-pieces etc. It's ridiculous, but there is no arrogance. We respect them very much."
PAOK SALONIKA v TOTTENHAM H, LIVE SETANTA IRL (KO 6.0)