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Ex-Spurs player and coach hails Harry Redknapp's 'great achievement'

EXCLUSIVE
By Andy Brassell

Gus Poyet says Tottenham Hotspur's qualification for the Champions League represents their best campaign in over a decade.

Speaking exclusively to Goal.com UK Poyet, 42, who spent three years at White Hart Lane as a player between 2001 and 2004, said that the landmark meant the club had finally fulfilled years of promise.

"Now, we can talk about their best season in the last 10-15 years," he remarked. "I said over the last few weeks everything would depend on the league position.

"Because if you analyse it on finishing fifth, Martin Jol did it twice. If you measure it on winning a cup, Juande Ramos did it in a few months. So the main thing was getting in the Champions League, and he (Harry Redknapp) has done it."

The Brighton & Hove Albion boss was assistant to Ramos during the latter's year-long spell in charge at White Hart Lane, which ended unhappily in October 2008 with Spurs rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.

Yet the Uruguayan has no hard feelings over his exit, and admitted he was especially pleased for the club's long-suffering fans. "It is a great achievement," said Poyet, "and especially the fans deserve it because they've been waiting for this possibility for many, many years. Credit goes to the team, the staff and the whole club - congratulations to them."

The former Chelsea and Real Zaragoza midfielder is enjoying the challenge on the south coast, but admitted he would be keen to step back up to the Premier League - this time at the helm - in the future. He hasn't ruled out a return to either of his previous English clubs from his playing days, suggesting his experience of the clubs' culture could stand him in good stead. "I think it's always easier to work in places where you've been," he said, "so I suppose I might have a bigger chance. But I don't know, I've already been there (Tottenham) twice, so let's wait and see."

A full interview with Gus Poyet will appear in Monday's edition of Goal.com UK.

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