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Nov 12, 2008

Harry demands top-notch Spurs performance

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes his Carling Cup holders will go crashing out of the competition if there is a repeat of their performance against Liverpool during his first week in charge at White Hart Lane.

Although Spurs triumphed 2-1 in the Premier League clash, the home side looked dead and buried until Reds defender Jamie Carragher scored an own goal and Roman Pavlyuchenko plundered a last-gasp winner.

"We played Liverpool and beat them but let's face it, they murdered us," Redknapp said.

Liverpool and Tottenham meet again in north London on Wednesday night, this time to fight for a place in the quarter-finals of the cup and, although Redknapp wants a similar result, he is demanding a better performance and is expected to field a strong side that will include on-loan Manchester United striker Frazier Campbell.

Redknapp said: "I need to see the likes of Frazier Campbell. I've seen nothing of him but he's looked terrific in training.

"When he came on the other night in the UEFA Cup game he was lively and a real prospect. Hull offered £7million to Manchester United so he's definitely not a bad player."

"One or two of the lads will get a chance because they are good players but it will still be a good team."

The Tottenham manager will be without suspended left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, injured forward Giovani dos Santos and skipper Ledley King, who is set to be rested. Redknapp may use the opportunity to run the rule over players such as Paul Stalteri, Ricardo Rocha, Adel Taarabt, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Hossam Ghaly, who all struggled under former head coach Juande Ramos.

Since his arrival at the end of October, Redknapp has instilled confidence and belief in many of the out of form players he inherited from Ramos and the former Portsmouth manager has taken 10 points from a possible 12 to drag the club off the foot of the Premier League table.

Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun admits he is surprised by the speed with which Redknapp has turned around Spurs' fortunes, but the Israel international will be aiming to bring an end to their undefeated run when he lines up against them.

Benayoun said: "I have been a little surprised by what Harry Redknapp has done; he changed them almost in a few days. I wish him all the best, but only after this cup tie."

"Having been beaten at White Hart Lane recently does give us more of an incentive. And for the other players in the squad who may well play in this game, it is a chance to show what we can do.

"We want to win the game and go on to win the Carling Cup, whoever is in the side. It is important for us.

Although Liverpool will send out a much-changed side from the one that beat West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, or that which lost to Spurs; star striker Fernando Torres is expected to take some part in the match as he looks to improve his fitness levels following six games out with a hamstring injury.

Torres made a 19-minute comeback against the Baggies, and manager Rafael Benitez said: "I will make a decision on Fernando much nearer kick-off, but he does need more match fitness."

Steven Gerrard is not in the squad, while Jose Reina, Javier Mascherano, Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger are also expected to be rested.

But manager Rafael Benitez maintains Liverpool can force their way into the last eight with virtually their second string.

He said: "We have enough players in the squad waiting for their chance to impress, it will be important for them to grab this opportunity. And when the team is playing well it is easier to change players and retain the system.

"I believe we can still continue to play well and to keep winning regardless of the players we use."

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