AVB: Why Redknapp’s past with Spurs will give him a ‘big advantage’ in London derby

Andre Villas-Boas admits that Harry Redknapp’s past with Tottenham will give him a “big advantage” on Saturday as the former Spurs boss will be “aware of what he has to exploit in this team”.

Redknapp spent three and a half years at White Hart Lane before his surprise sacking in June, and he will face the Lilywhites for the first time this weekend.

The 65-year-old’s struggling QPR side are currently gearing up to host Tottenham at Loftus Road, and Villas-Boas says Redknapp will be fully aware of his old club’s strengths and weaknesses.

“I think it’s a big advantage,” said Spurs’ head coach. “In the end when you manager a club you know your football players very well - you get to know their qualities and I think Harry can take advantage of that. “That knowledge of these players can always serve you well.

“I think his knowledge of these players is second to none because he was here with these players for three and a half years, with tremendous results.

“They have done things together, he knows what makes them tick and what they are not so good at. Whether that will make a difference or not nobody knows, but I think he is aware of what he has to exploit in this team.”

Villas-Boas sympathises with Redknapp’s plight at QPR given his own difficulties with Chelsea last season – and he believes Rangers’ recent victory over the Blues could mark a turning point in their season.

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“Obviously everything has changed recently for him [Redknapp] in the fact that he has gone to QPR and the fact that he won against Chelsea - that is such an important boost of confidence,” said Villas-Boas.

“I’ve been in this situation before with Chelsea. When negative results happen it’s very difficult for you to come out of them.

“You need a consistency in terms of results and only that will make you jump out of a crisis situation. I think Mark Hughes was looking for that stability, which never happened. Harry was looking for that stability too, which took some time, and it arrived maybe when people least expected it with the win against Chelsea and the draw against West Brom.

“As soon as they pick up that momentum I think anything can happen - everything can change. He knew the task in hand when he went ito the job and he knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he has individual quality there and a good mix of players.

“To get them playing together is a big task but I think the ingredients are there for him to do it. It’s a five-point difference to salvation, which is absolutely nothing.”

Tottenham go into the clash with QPR on a high after nine wins from their last 11 games in all competitions, and Villas-Boas admits he is looking up the table as second-placed Manchester City travel to Arsenal on Sunday.

“We approach the game on a good run of form, full of confidence and wanting to profit from a weekend when the top teams meet each other,” he said.

“We take this weekend very seriously. If we want to continue our progress in some way we have to go to QPR and win before we receive Manchester United.

“It will be excellent for us if we can get Man City into this battle between ourselves, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton.

“That is our objective - to shorten the gap to the top and open the gap to the teams who are below us. If this could happen this weekend it would be perfect for us.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs