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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp plays down Champions League pressure

Harry Redknapp has sought to take the pressure off his Tottenham side for Tuesday's Champions League clash at Young Boys by insisting failure to reach the group stage would not be a disaster.

• Gomes excited by Europe

Spurs are huge favourites to progress to the lucrative first round after landing the easiest possible play-off draw against last season's Swiss runners-up. But Tottenham are very much heading into the unknown, having not played a European Cup tie for almost half a century.

Asked what coming unstuck would mean, Redknapp quipped: "What can it mean? What are we going to do - commit suicide or something? What are we supposed to do?''

He added: "Listening to everybody, we'll end up hanging ourselves. All you can ever do is your best. If we play at our best, we've got a great chance.''

With £10 million guaranteed to the winners of this tie, there is more at stake in the next week than Redknapp was prepared to admit.

"Nobody expected us to get here in the first place last year,'' Redknapp said. "We suddenly went from where we were to finishing fourth in the Premier League.

"People's expectations get very high but I don't think about not qualifying. It'll be a difficult game, but we're a good team and I've got great belief in the team.''

Meanwhile, Redknapp confirmed Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa was training with the club and would join on loan from Spartak Moscow if he proved his fitness following a recent knee problem.

"He's with us for a week or so, just to see how he is,'' Redknapp said. "If he's fine and he's okay, he'll join us. He'll give us good competition and good cover in that position.''

Tottenham are unlikely to sign Craig Bellamy as Manchester City do not want to let the forward join a direct rival for a Champions League place this season. It has been suggested that Bellamy could drop down a division to join Cardiff City, but Redknapp would be disappointed to see that happen.

"Good luck to Cardiff but it would be a waste of an outstanding player," Redknapp said. "He should stay in the Premier League for sure. He's a Premier League player - a top Premier League player in my opinion.

"I think someone's going to have to end up buying him probably. Unless Manchester City do decide to end up loaning him to a club like Fulham. I couldn't see them loaning him to someone like us.''


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