Tottenham's manager has the taste for relegation dogfights – and cup ties against United...
When Harry Redknapp rode (back) into Fratton Park in December 2005, Pompey were in a perilous position – third from bottom, with a gap opening up between them and the clubs just above. Five months later, Harry’s men finished clear of the drop, safe and sound with a game to spare.
Should Tottenham do likewise this term, the sighs of relief from north London may well be heard on the South Coast. When Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane in October, Spurs fans were already thinking the unthinkable, as the team had picked up just two points from eight games.
But Redknapp galvanised his hitherto underperforming players into an outfit that swept (almost) all before them for the next couple of months. A last-gasp draw at the Emirates, plus wins over Liverpool, Manchester City and Blackburn meant Spurs had 20 points in the bag by Christmas.
Results since the New Year have been mixed, but Spurs breezed into this weekend's Carling Cup final and Monday's league win at Hull hauled them clear of the drop zone.
In a recent interview Redknapp revealed
His Spurs side may have come unstuck in January's FA Cup exit at Old Trafford, but Harry Redknapp has enjoyed cup success against the Reds as manager of three different clubs in the past...
United 0-1 Portsmouth
FA Cup Sixth Round, 08/03/2008
United 0-1 West Ham
FA Cup Fourth Round, 28/01/2001
Bournemouth 2-0 United
FA Cup Third Round, 07/01/1984
Carling Cup final: Spurs players to watch