Cup exit has helped us - Redknapp

BY foxsports • May 8, 2010

Spurs reacted to their shock loss at Wembley on April 11 by embarking on an amazing run in the Premier League, beating Arsenal, Chelsea, Bolton and Manchester City to clinch a place in next season's Champions League. Redknapp admitted his side's season could easily have fallen apart after their cup setback, so he is naturally delighted by the way his players responded. "After the Wembley game, everybody probably thought, 'That's the end of Tottenham's season'," he said. "And, to be fair, when you looked at our run-in, it was scary - cup semi-final followed by Arsenal on the Wednesday and Chelsea the following Saturday. "Maybe we would not have finished fourth if we had won the semi-final. You know what it's like when you reach a cup final - people look forward to it. "But I think the players decided they had done so well all year that it would be shame to finish with nothing, so they came back strong. "We had a chat after the Wembley game, but it was just one of those games where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But the players have just kept on going." A raft of players have really stepped up to the plate in Tottenham's league run-in but maybe none more so than Gareth Bale, who signed a new four-year contract with the club on Friday morning. Once seen as a bad-luck charm - Spurs did not win once in Bale's first 24 Premier League outings for the club - the Wales international is now undroppable and is considered by Redknapp as, on current form at least, the best left-sided player in the division. Redknapp admitted he even thought about not selecting Bale because of the record the team had when he played. "I'm very superstitious and there were times when I thought, 'That's not right, it's impossible for it to happen for him'. But he hasn't looked back since," Redknapp said. "He went through that terrible spell of not being in a winning team but we got rid of that and his confidence has risen." Bale has been impressive on Spurs' left wing over the past month but Redknapp sees the 20-year-old establishing himself as a full-back. "I think he'll become a great left-back eventually. That's how I see it," Redknapp said. "He's developing here now. This is a good club and there aren't too many he could go to - Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are the only teams above us - but he's very happy here and we don't want to sell him. "He agreed a deal before we got fourth place."