Bristly Redknapp may be starting to feel pressure

Trevor Steven
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HARRY Redknapp seems to be getting a bit bristly in his old age. The Tottenham manager objected to the notion that his side’s failure to hold onto a two-goal lead at Werder Bremen on Tuesday suggested they had lessons to learn about the Champions League. That’s silly.

Make no mistake, Spurs will view the result as an opportunity missed. Away wins in this competition are vital because they ease the pressure to take maximum points at home and, although Bremen are a good attacking side, it was two points lost.

Redknapp’s squad may be full of internationals but they are inexperienced in playing as a team in the Champions League. Of course you have to learn lessons. Even the best teams slip up sometimes.

Perhaps Redknapp (right) is starting to feel the pressure. Expectations are very high but it looks like being a tough season for Tottenham, who must juggle a European campaign and a scrap to maintain their top-four Premier League status.

Spurs are not a team you’d put money on to finish in the Champions League places again this time but Redknapp won’t want to prioritise domestic matters over the Champions League, so I expect he’ll look to field his strongest line-up as often as he possibly he can.

That’s not an accusation you could level at Sir Alex Ferguson, however, who paid the price for selecting a weakened Manchester United side against Rangers. They needed someone to produce some magic, but with Paul Scholes, Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs all left out they failed.

Ferguson won’t be reaching for the panic button yet but there are a lot of issues he needs to address: a lack of form and fluidity, defensive errors, and a reliance on Rooney’s goals.

United urgently need to shake off the malaise that has seen them squander winning positions at Fulham and Everton and now draw with Rangers, starting by beating Liverpool on Sunday.

In the meantime, Chelsea will be looking to capitalise on their main rivals’ slump by opening up a big gap.