Harry heaps praise on Bentley

Bentley looked set to leave Spurs earlier in the season when he

angered Redknapp with his off-the-field behaviour and poor attitude

in training – but the winger has been given another opportunity

following a groin injury to Aaron Lennon. Last month Redknapp

dropped 25-year-old Bentley from his 18-man matchday squad because

he felt the former Blackburn midfielder did not warrant a place on

the bench, only to recall him for the last three games and see him

star in the midweek FA Cup win at Leeds. Redknapp, impressed by

Bentley’s reaction, said: “David was out of the picture but has

trained well and has been fantastic. I don’t hold grudges, I don’t

work that way, and it’s there for anybody. “They’re all here to

play and he’s responded really well. The work-rate and ability he

showed the other night at Leeds was fantastic and was appreciated.”

Next is Aston Villa as the race for fourth place in the Premier

League hots up and, even if Luka Modric is preferred, Redknapp will

be looking for a positive reaction from Bentley. The good news for

Bentley is that Lennon has not started training with the ball yet

and is limited to running in straight lines. “I’ve just been

looking to perform,” Bentley said. “It’s been a difficult time

since I came here and you can’t help that when the team have been

doing so well without you. “I just look forward to every game I

play now and don’t take it for granted. I go out there and enjoy

myself. “I just want to stay in the team and play as many games as

I can. I am taking it game by game at the minute because you never

know in football. “My time at Spurs has been hard but hopefully I

can start enjoying it now.” Another player with a second chance at

Tottenham is Younes Kaboul, who was bought back by the club after

being sold to Portsmouth for the start of last season. Despite

winning the Carling Cup under Juande Ramos, his first spell at

Spurs was characterised by high-profile blunders – but Redknapp now

believes the 24-year-old could even force his way into France’s

squad if he continues his progress. “Younes has the ability and

potential to be a top player. If you’re looking for a centre-half

he has everything – marking, heading, pace and good on the ball,”

Redknapp said. “The only problem was concentration – he could

switch off. But he’s matured with more games. He’s gone to

Portsmouth and become a better player. “Now he’s ready to push on

and could have a chance of making the French squad for the World

Cup.” Spurs centre-back Ledley King also has faith in Kaboul’s

ability. “I’ve spent time with him before and we spoke about him

becoming a better player and concentrating,” King said. “I’m sure

that’s going to happen. All young players make mistakes, especially

in defence. But it’s down to us as a team to nurture his talent

because he has fantastic ability.” Kaboul’s last-gasp equaliser to

secure a 4-4 draw against Villa was one of the few highlights

during his previous year at Spurs. That was part of a dreadful

start to the season but this campaign has seen Redknapp’s men

challenge for a Champions League place, with Martin O’Neill’s Villa

side emerging as one of their main rivals. “Martin understands

football,” Redknapp said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist

– he knows how to put a team together and get the best out of them.

He keeps it simple and gets great results.” Eidur Gudjohnsen, who

along with Kaboul was drafted in during January for Spurs’ final

push, is in the squad and could make his debut. “I see him playing

an important role in the run-in. He’s my type of player, who sees

the whole picture and everything around him,” Redknapp said.