United will push Blues – Redknapp

United are unbeaten in the league this season but have drawn more

games than they have won. They have also been at the centre of one

of the most extraordinary footballing sagas of recent years, which

ended when Wayne Rooney finally signed a new five-year contract

last week. Rooney looked set to leave Old Trafford after publicly

questioning the club’s ambition, amid concerns they had been in

decline since the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.

But Spurs boss Redknapp believes once Rooney recovers from an ankle

injury and rediscovers his form, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will be

back on track. “They’ve had a few problems, haven’t they, obviously

losing Rooney with his injury and then another few problems they’ve

had with Rooney,” Redknapp said. “When he comes back firing on all

cylinders, they’ll always be there. “They’ve got a fantastic

manager; he gets the best out of them every year; they produce

great teams and I wouldn’t write them off. “They’ll be right again

there pushing all the way for the championship. “Chelsea are

obviously favourites at the moment but I don’t think Man United

will be too far away again come the end of the season.” Tottenham

will face a Rooney-less United on Saturday, and Redknapp admitted

that was a prospect he would relish. “I’d be a liar if I said

otherwise,” he said. “I’d rather see Rooney’s name not on the

team-sheet any day of the week.” Spurs appear to need all the help

they can get winning at Old Trafford if their recent record there

is anything to go by. It is almost 21 years since they last tasted

victory there in any competition. Redknapp joked: “I wouldn’t take

the blame for what happened in ’89 or ’90, or ’91, ’92, ’93, or all

those other years. “It’s a hard place for anyone. How many teams

have been there and won? “They lose one or two home games a season

at the most. “And it’s different players here now. “They wouldn’t

know about that record or anything else. “It’s a new experience for

some of them.” Spurs have made great strides during Redknapp’s two

years in charge but he has yet to halt their 17-year winless run at

the grounds of the so-called ‘big four’. “We need to go away from

home and play at Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and pick

up a win,” he said. “We did it at Man City last year, obviously,

and I think they’ll probably be a top-four team this year. “But we

need to go away from home in one or two of those games and pick up

better results this year than we have in the past. “A lot of it is

belief, believing that you can go there and get a result. If you go

there and you’re negative about it, you won’t. “We’ll go there

tomorrow with a team looking to take the game, if we can, to Man

United. “We’re not going to go there and shut up shop completely.

“We’ve got talent and we’ll look to go there and do our best to

attack them at every opportunity that we get.” Redknapp is

pondering resting Gareth Bale ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League

clash with Inter Milan. “We’ve got two big games and I’ll look at

it,” Redknapp said. “He’s had a really hard spell of playing game

after game.” Redknapp, who gave Bale as few days off this week,

joked: “He went abroad – he went to Cardiff! “He could have gone

away, a few days abroad or something, but he just wanted to spend a

bit of time with his family.”