Tottenham’s season will be classed as a “massive failure'” if they miss out on a top-four finish, according to Harry Redknapp.
Spurs have slipped to seventh in the top-flight standings after 30 fixtures, five points behind Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot.
Redknapp says finishing lower than fourth would be unacceptable for Jose Mourinho’s side, who he has backed to lay down a marker by beating Manchester United in their crunch encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
“I think the only way it will be deemed a success by the owners and people than run the club, Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy, is Champions League football next season,” the former Spurs boss told talkSPORT. “Anything other than Champions League football will be deemed as a massive failure.
“If they don’t make the Champions League I think it will be a really disappointing year for Tottenham, even if they win the Carabao Cup. The top four is a must for them.”
Pressed to pick a winner between Tottenham and United, Redknapp added: “I fancy Spurs. If I had to put my money down, which I normally do, I’d have to go for Tottenham. Tottenham need it badly if they want to make top four. Liverpool and Chelsea won yesterday, West Ham and Leicester playing today – I’ve got a feeling Tottenham will do it.”
Speaking before his team’s disappointing 2-2 draw with Newcastle last weekend, Mourinho admitted that Spurs will have to rely on their rivals faltering if they are to earn a place in next season’s Champions League.
“To reach a Champions League position I don’t think we depend on ourselves,” he told reporters.
“We depend also on results from other teams. I’m not going to say we are going to do it or not going to do it. We are going one game at a time and the last season was a very good example.
“We were quite a distance, we had a big distance to the top six positions and in the end, in the last minute of the last match we confirmed that position and we have to go in that direction.”
After their meeting with United, Spurs will look ahead to a clash with Everton at Goodison Park on Friday, which comes five days before they are due to play host to Southampton.
Mourinho’s men will then wrap up their April schedule with a Carabao Cup final showdown against Manchester City, who have been billed as favourites to win the trophy after storming ahead at the top of the Premier League.
Tottenham will be back in top-flight action at home to Sheffield United on May 1, before completing their campaign with fixtures against Leeds United, Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester City.