Harry Redknapp claims it would be a "miracle'' if Tottenham beat big-spending rivals Chelsea and Manchester City to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season.
No 'man love' for Holloway
Redknapp's side currently sit in fourth position in the Premier League and will leapfrog Manchester City into third with a win over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night.
Tottenham have seamlessly taken to the task of juggling domestic and European commitments this year, beating AC Milan and Inter Milan to get within touching distance of the last eight in what is their first appearance in the Champions League.
Whilst Chelsea and Manchester City both broke the bank to bring in the likes of Fernando Torres and Edin Dzeko last month, Redknapp spent just £4.5 million on acquiring South African duo Steven Pienaar and Bongani Khumalo. That, Redknapp insists, means that Spurs should be looking at Champions League qualification as a bonus, rather than as a necessity.
"It would be a miracle if we qualified,'' Redknapp said. "I think people get carried away thinking Tottenham should be in the Champions League. Why should we be in the Champions League? We'd never been in the Champions League before, suddenly we do it and it's 'oh well we should do it again'.
"Look at Man City and Chelsea's wage bill. Have a look at the money they pay out. Why should we finish above them? If you'd have asked me at the start of the year, I'd have put my life on City with the strength they've got with Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli. Then I would have said Man United and Arsenal were nailed on and Chelsea too so I think that if we make the top four it'll be a fantastic achievement for the players.''
David Beckham left Tottenham on Monday to return to the United States after a six-week training spell with the club. Beckham had hoped to play for Spurs but negotiations with his parent club, Los Angeles Galaxy, broke down and the England midfielder will start pre-season training in LA later this week. Beckham, 35, is expected to leave the Galaxy when his contract expires and Redknapp admits he could come back to Tottenham.
When asked whether he thought Beckham would be open to a return to the club, the 63-year-old replied: "Yes, I think he would like to see what the future holds for him - he's a busy lad, his life must be unbelievable, but when you get a lad who wants to come here and train every day when he could be sitting at home having a month's rest, it tells you everything about him. He loves football.
"He's been great to have around the place and he's just a top-class bloke, a proper good lad. He's welcome back any time. He can still play, he can still pick a pass out. I've not looked into bringing him back in November - the chairman would need to look at that, I don't know what the financial side of it would be - I wouldn't have a clue how much it would cost.''
Redknapp has warned his side that they must put last Tuesday's momentous 1-0 win at the San Siro behind them and ready themselves for a tough match against Blackpool on Tuesday. The Seasiders have made many friends in their first appearance in top-flight football since 1971, mainly because of manager Ian Holloway's personality and his commitment to playing attacking football. The club sit two points outside of the drop zone and if they are able to stay up, Redknapp believes Holloway should be rewarded with the manager of the year crown.
"The job Ian Holloway has done there has been amazing, he has been great for the Premier League, a breath of fresh air,'' Redknapp said. "Everybody looked at them at the start of the year and said they would be lucky if they got 20 points, and they have passed that. They have a big chance of staying up and if he does that he should be manager of the year.''
Redknapp will be without Rafael van der Vaart for Tuesday night's game after he suffered a recurrence of his calf injury, while Gareth Bale continues to be sidelined with the back problem which kept him out of Spurs' win in the San Siro.