LONDON, England, November 22 – Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp described watching his team defeat Aston Villa 2-0 and go third in the Premier League as the ‘best medicine’ following heart surgery.
Spurs’ victory came courtesy of a double from Togolese international striker Emmanuel Adebayor in what was Redknapp’s first match back following a minor operation three weeks ago.
“I enjoy watching us play football – that’s the best medicine for me,” said Redknapp, whose side trail leaders Manchester City by nine points though they have a game in hand.
“Some of the stuff we play is top drawer. There are a lot of good teams around the world and we play like one of them.”
Adebayor opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a scissor-kick after Villa failed to clear a corner, then his second was a tap-in following a defensive mix-up before the interval.
“We all know what he (Redknapp) is going through but we are all behind him,” said Adebayor after the final whistle.
“And we all send our regards to him.”
Redknapp was actually returning to the dug-out earlier than his doctor expected, but insisted he had no reservations about coming back to work.
“He told me not to come back for four or five weeks but I didn’t take a lot of notice,” Redknapp said.
“I feel better now than I did before. I couldn’t feel better. I feel great but then I’ve felt great for the last 10 days and looking forward to getting back.”
Redknapp also suggested his side could be involved in the title race if they continue their current form. Victory over Villa was their ninth unbeaten in the league.
“It is a possibility,” said Redknapp, when asked about the title race.
“It is not impossible.
“When I came here I said that I wanted to get into the Champions League and we did.
“If you believe in yourself and keep winning games you are going to do it. Last season Manchester United won it as everyone else fell over themselves. Everyone threw games away.
“We are on a real good run and if we continue the form that we are in now we will win the league. That will be very difficult.”
Manchester City are currently unbeaten, but Redknapp said he didn’t believe that they were much better than other teams.
“I would not say that they on a different planet to everyone else.
“They will not go through the season unbeaten, I don’t think they are that good (to remain undefeated).
“They are a very good team and worthy favourites but I would not say that they are certainties to win the league.”
Villa manager Alex McLeish bemoaned defensive lapses which cost his team goals.
“It’s so frustrating to see that,” said McLeish, whose gamble on playing two right backs – former Spurs defender Alan Hutton played in midfield – to contain Gareth Bale backfired spectacularly as he set up both goals.
“We started really well, we nearly scored after 40 seconds, we were bright and positive but it was almost like we were waiting on conceding before starting again.
“What they’ve (the players) normally done is given me a good reaction. We have a tough game at the weekend and I will look to freshen things up.
“Spurs at times were pretty overwhelming and gave us problems. We gave them problems but if you don’t finish off your chances you are left to rue that.”