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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 21, 2009

Redknapp impressed with Bentley new approach

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp admits David Bentley needed a change of approach to get his White Hart Lane career back on track.

Bentley has struggled for consistency since moving from Blackburn Rovers in the summer - a situation that has not been helped by being played in a variety of positions for Juande Ramos, then Redknapp.

The new Spurs manager told Bentley in no uncertain terms that he needed to increase his work rate to make an impact - and was pleased with the results against Portsmouth on Sunday when he was brought on as a substitute.

''Maybe he thought 'because I'm coming to Tottenham, I have to be a bit more entertaining','' said Redknapp, who will start Bentley tonight at Burnley when Spurs protect a 4-1 first-leg lead in their Carling Cup semi-final.

''The work ethic suffered a bit with him; he wasn't working as hard as he had in the past. But now I think he'll get back to that - and with the great skill he has got, I'm hoping we'll see the best of David.''

While manager at Pompey, Redknapp watched Bentley face Spurs - and his statistics went off the charts, as did those of his Blackburn team-mates.

Redknapp was not seeing the same at Spurs and talked to the 24-year-old right-winger last week about grafting more.

''I told him straight,'' he said. ''I told him what I thought of him and his performances - what he can do and what he was doing.

''He took it well. He took it on board and said 'fine, I'll accept that'. He's trained really hard, closed people down and won tackles. He's back to what we saw at Blackburn.''

Redknapp wants to see a tougher Spurs outfit in general, which is why he targeted Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios. It is also why he wanted Craig Bellamy from West Ham.

''Let's be honest, when I mentioned Craig Bellamy to the chairman he thought 'surely not','' Redknapp reports. ''But Mark Hughes has had him at City - and he's not a fool. He knows what he can give you.

''I just think we need to improve the squad. that's why I wanted Palacios, because I think he will come in here and get after it - and he will play aggressively.''

Redknapp wants players who are tough mentally as well, and has revealed his shock at the reaction to comments he made about Darren Bent's miss against Pompey.

''It wasn't like it was Darren Bent I was trying to knock, I swear,'' he added. ''Darren's got a future - they all have - but I can't sit back here and say 'I'm not going to bring any players in'.''

Heurelho Gomes (thigh), Vedran Corluka (thigh), Ledley King (hamstring), Jermaine Jenas (calf) and Aaron Lennon (groin) are unfit for Turf Moor.

It means youngster Ben Alnwick will come in for Gomes in goal.

''It's up to him to come in and show he's good enough,'' said Redknapp. ''I don't know an awful lot about the lad.''

Meanwhile, Tottenham have moved to help ease the financial pressures on their supporters by confirming the price of season tickets at White Hart Lane will be frozen for up to two years.

The club have announced fans who take advantage of the offer for the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 campaigns will also be able to benefit from the current reduction in VAT of 15 per cent - effectively renewing at a cost lower than they paid for the current season.

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