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Football: Redknapp piles pressure on Spurs boss Pochettino

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has piled pressure on Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of his return to White Hart Lane by insisting anything other than a top-four finish will be a failure for his old club.

LONDON: QPR manager Harry Redknapp has piled pressure on Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of his return to White Hart Lane by insisting anything other than a top-four finish will be a failure for his old club.

Redknapp will be back at Tottenham for the first time since he was sacked in 2012 following the breakdown of his relationship with chairman Daniel Levy. The 67-year-old guided Tottenham to two top-four finishes in the Premier League during his four-year reign, but was axed after his unsuccessful flirtation with the England job and his side's failure to remain in the Champions League.

Since his departure neither Andre Villas-Boas or Tim Sherwood have been able to match Redknapp's record and former Southampton manager Pochettino arrived in pre-season tasked with returning the north London team to Europe's elite club competition. Redknapp says he is a fan of Pochettino, but that didn't stop him heaping a little more pressure on his counterpart's shoulders ahead of Sunday's London derby.

"They should be pushing to get into the top four, and if they don't it would be a disappointment for Tottenham," Redknapp said. "That's what they've been trying to do the past couple of seasons, and anything below would be a disappointment.

"They've got fantastic players, they've spent over £100 million (S$207 million) in the transfer market, and so they're entitled to be a good team. I like the manager there. He did a great job at Southampton, and I'm sure he'll do a great job at Tottenham."

Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle, now a member of Redknapp's backroom staff, will also be returning to his old stamping ground this weekend, but it is the QPR boss who will be in the spotlight as he looks to exact a measure of revenge for his brutal dismissal.

"You look forward to going there. I had a fantastic time at Tottenham," said Redknapp, who guided QPR to promotion via the Championship play-offs last season. "I loved every minute of my time there and I'm looking forward to going back there, seeing a few of the old faces.

"I shouldn't get a bad reception really. I finished fourth two years and fifth the other so I didn't do too badly there. The football we played in that Champions League run was absolutely amazing.

"But I'm here now and I'm going there to try and get three points. It's another game, I don't get excited too much by anything nowadays. I didn't have any bad relationships there."

Meanwhile, Tottenham left-back Danny Rose, who played under Redknapp, believes his old manager deserves a warm welcome from the White Hart Lane faithful.

"He was one of the most successful managers the club has had, with him getting the club into the Champions League, so he should get a good reception," Rose said. "In terms of the football he had the team playing, he got the best out of Luka Modric, the best out of Gareth Bale, and lot of players, so I think he should get a warm welcome."

While Pochettino's reign has started the season with unconvincing victories over West Ham in the Premier League and AEL Limassol, QPR opened with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Hull and Rose expects a backlash from Redknapp's side this weekend.

"QPR lost against Hull on the opening day of the season but we know it will be a difficult game," he said. "With an old manager coming back, they will be looking to get three points. It will be a very hard game but games at home we should be looking to get three points."

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