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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:06 UK

Redknapp thrilled as Tottenham reach Champions League


Great feeling to be in top four - Redknapp

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history is a massive step forward for the club.

Spurs beat Manchester City 1-0 to clinch fourth in the Premier League and a chance to qualify for the lucrative group stages of the tournament.

"It's fantastic. It's been a terrific season for us, we've played some great football and we deserve it," he said.

"Finishing fourth gives me a lot of pleasure. It's great for the club."

Spurs, who also reached the FA Cup semi-finals, have been locked in a battle with City, Aston Villa and Liverpool for most of the season in the race for fourth place.

But a fine late season run of form, during which they also beat Chelsea and Arsenal, saw Spurs seal the coveted spot with a game to spare.

Phil McNulty

"I thought maybe the goal wasn't going to come and we'd go to Burnley with the extra point in the bag, which would have been a good situation, but this is perfect to finish it here," he added.

Even third place, and therefore finishing above north London rivals Arsenal for the first time since the 1994-95 season, is achievable for Spurs, although they need to make up a two-point deficit on the Gunners.

Reaching at least the qualifying stages of the Champions League marks a remarkable turnaround in Spurs' fortunes since Redknapp took the helm. Tottenham were bottom of the Premier League with two points from eight games when Redknapp left Portsmouth to replace Juande Ramos as manager in October 2008.

"I think to finish third would be asking a lot but fourth is a great position for us," said Redknapp.

"We'll have to have a look in the summer and see where we can improve if we have to, but we've got good players here. I think there might be eight boys in the preliminary squad for England."

Redknapp said his positive approach at Eastlands - starting with two strikers and the likes of Aaron Lennon in the starting line-up - had paid rich dividends, with Peter Crouch grabbing a deserved winner on 82 minutes.

"Most people probably thought we'll come here and take a point but I picked the most attacking team you could ever wish to see," he told BBC Sport.

"We came here to a hot atmosphere and got at them and we deserved the win.

"Crouchy was top class and led the line and he deserved the goal. I also think Jermain Defoe had his best performance away from home for some time.

Asked about centre-back Ledley King, Redknapp said: "What a player, he's got to go to the World Cup, but Michael Dawson as well - the two of them tonight were just fantastic. You've got to put them in your squad."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy hailed the turnaround that has led to the club securing a top-four place as "an amazing achievement".

Redknapp drenched by Spurs squad

"Harry's done a great job and we're very proud of him and the whole team," he said.

Asked what Champions League qualification meant for the club, Levy said: "Only time will tell but in the process of considering a new stadium it's come at the right time.

"This is such an achievement… for us to be there is really quite something."

Crouch, who was part of the Liverpool side that lost the 2007 Champions League final to AC Milan, stated: "The dressing room was buzzing afterwards but, when things settle down, I think we will realise the magnitude of our achievement.

"The job is not done yet because we still have to qualify but just to be in fourth place considering the teams we were up against is a great achievement, and probably one of the best of my career."

Defoe added: "It's fantastic. The lads have put in so much hard work over the course of the season and we've got our reward. It is a fantastic feeling to have made it."

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Premier League results

5 May 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 5 May 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 37 63 83
2 Man Utd 37 54 82
3 Arsenal 37 38 72
4 Tottenham 37 28 70
5 Man City 37 28 66
6 Aston Villa 37 14 64
7 Liverpool 37 26 62
8 Everton 37 10 58
9 Birmingham 37 -8 50
10 Stoke 37 -10 47
11 Blackburn 37 -15 47
12 Fulham 37 -3 46
13 Sunderland 37 -7 44
14 Bolton 37 -26 36
15 Wigan 37 -34 36
16 Wolves 37 -25 35
17 West Ham 37 -19 34
18 Hull 37 -41 29
19 Burnley 37 -42 27
20 Portsmouth 37 -31 19

see also
Manchester City 0-1 Tottenham
05 May 10 |  Premier League
Mancini at Man City 'for years'
06 May 10 |  Man City
Premier League as it happened
05 May 10 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
05 May 10 |  Premier League

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