Harry to hand Bostock chance
Harry Redknapp is keen to see John Bostock in a Spurs shirt as he prepares to give youth its chance in Europe.
Last Updated: 05/11/08 5:58pm
Harry Redknapp is keen to see starlet John Bostock in a Tottenham shirt as he prepares to give youth its chance in the Uefa Cup, having prioritised the Premier League over European football.
Having taken seven points from a possible nine since replacing Juande Ramos, Redknapp has overseen a remarkable upturn in fortunes in North London.
Ramos' reign at White Hart Lane saw the Spaniard freeze out various members of his squad - with the likes of Paul Stalteri, Hossam Ghaly, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Adel Taarabt and Ricardo Rocha not registered to play in Europe - which means 16-year-old Bostock will likely take a place on the substitutes' bench for Thursday night's game against Dinamo Zagreb.
Bostock moved to Tottenham in the summer from Crystal Palace in a controversial £2million deal that left Eagles chairman Simon Jordan fuming. Tottenham felt at the time they had landed a player of considerable potential and it is a view shared by Redknapp.
"He's on the bench and I'd love to get him on the pitch," Redknapp said. "He's only 16, a kid with terrific talent and a lovely left foot.
"He is a special young player with terrific ability, how far he goes is up to him.
"With all young players it will be up to them how hard they want to work at their game.
"I'd love to get some of the youth team into the first team, that is the long-term aim.
"(Steve) Perryman and (Glenn) Hoddle were fantastic, so let's hope there are a few more coming out of this youth team now."
Redknapp has stressed the importance of defeating Croatian league leaders Zagreb, but feels domestic points are crucial as he believes it could be the tightest Premier League relegation battle yet.
"I would love to get to a cup final again, but getting Tottenham up the league to a respectable position is key as well," he said. "We've got a lot on our plate.
"Every game is big for us now, the league games especially coming up. It's so tight, there are 14 teams in a position where they will be looking over their shoulder worried at what is coming.
"I've never seen a tighter league and it may take more points than normal to stay up.
"At the moment the ambition is to make sure we get out of the bottom group of the table, then you can relax and play with less fear."