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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2009

Spurs 'keeper Alnwick set to start against Burnley

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp will give Ben Alnwick the chance to solve one of the problem areas of his squad when the Carling Cup holders face Burnley at Turf Moor.

Protecting a 4-1 lead from the first leg of the semi-final, first-choice goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is among a host of injuries Redknapp has to deal with, meaning Alnwick will make his Spurs debut.

Redknapp wants cover for Gomes, who has a thigh strain, but Alnwick has the chance to stake his claim as the Brazilian stopper's deputy while the search for a back-up goalkeeper continues.

Another concern for Redknapp is a lack of tenacity in his squad, which is why he wants Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios, with chairman Daniel Levy discussing personal terms with the 24-year-old after agreeing a fee with Wigan.

''We've agreed a deal and the chairman is talking to his people,'' Redknapp said. ''Hopefully it will happen.''

Adding bite to his squad is also why he targeted Craig Bellamy, before Manchester City came in for the striker.

''I wanted Craig and would have loved him here,'' Redknapp said. ''He's a fighter and wants to win, he also has terrific ability but once City come in it's difficult to compete because they are working on another level. We couldn't get anywhere near him.''

With his squad still being shaped, Redknapp will send out his strongest side possible against Burnley.

Gomes (thigh), Ledley King (hamstring), Vedran Corluka (thigh), Aaron Lennon (groin) and Jermaine Jenas (calf) are on the sidelines with Alan Hutton (foot).

It means only Jonathan Woodgate and Didier Zokora will remain from the starting XI that faced Chelsea in the final of the competition last season.

Darren Bent will be in the squad, three days after his glaring miss against Portsmouth - an opportunity Redknapp later suggested his wife could have scored.

Despite facing criticism for his comment, Redknapp said: ''I don't regret saying it. If I had the hump every time somebody said something about me I wouldn't go out every morning. It's frightening really.

''Sometimes you say what you think and people take offence. I've spoken to him and there is no problem.

''You keep pussyfooting around with people - what am I supposed to say? Really good try? Really unlucky? He's really done his best with that?''

Redknapp is hoping for a different reaction from Spurs players to last season, when they won the Carling Cup then struggled to get results in the league.

''It didn't help league form last year as we only won three games after that until I arrived,'' Redknapp added. ''I hope it has the reverse effect.

''The key is getting into the final and winning some league games - these are the two competitions that matter. We have to get to Wembley and stay in the Premier League. The FA Cup and UEFA very secondary.''

Redknapp is also trimming his squad of players who have struggled, such as Gilberto, whose only appearance under Redknapp ended with him being replaced at half-time.

Midfielder Hossam Ghaly, who was abused by Spurs fans as he prepared to make a substitute appearance, is thought to have interested Saudi Arabian side Al Nasr, while Kevin-Prince Boateng has already been loaned to Borussia Dortmund.

''My head tells me that this is my last chance and I don't know if I will get another one if I don't take it,'' Boateng told Kicker.

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