Parker: Spurs must learn
Scott Parker hopes experience will prevent Tottenham from repeating the end-of-season collapse that has blighted their last two Barclays Premier League campaigns.
- Related Content
Spurs were held to a goalles draw by QPR in Saturday's London derby at Loftus Road, dropping to fourth in the table after Chelsea had crushed Stoke.
8. Scott Parker
Seven wins in the last 10 matches has left them well positioned to qualify for the Champions League, but their capacity to implode gives way to only cautious optimism at White Hart Lane.
Last season their title hopes expired when a damaging run of one victory in nine games left them in fourth, while in 2010-11 they slipped out of the top four with another poor sequence of results starting in February.
"It's in everyone's mind because it's happened before. We need to maintain our performances," said Parker.
"We have some tough fixtures coming up but we've got some players coming back from injury. Hopefully we can freshen it up that way. I'm sure we'll be fine.
"We've lost some world class players but we've added some too. Maybe we'll learn from the last two years and stay strong."
Andre Villas-Boas has sought to avoid the all-too-familiar scenario from unfolding by rotating his squad, ensuring he will have fresh legs in April and May.
But at Loftus Road it was the organisation, resilience and spirit of QPR and not their own shortcomings that contributed to an afternoon of frustration masterminded by the manager they fired last June.
Harry Redknapp is known for motivational skills rather than tactical nous, but his well drilled side smothered Tottenham and were especially effective at containing wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
Parker believes QPR have a fighting chance of escaping relegation with Redknapp at the helm.
"We wanted three points. QPR did their job and were set up very well," the 32-year-old said.
"They went to Stamford Bridge and won in their last league game and got a good point against a team like us who are obviously a very good team and up there in the league.
"They've got every chance with Harry there and he'll probably turn things around.
"I think the world of Harry and he can have as big an impact as anyone. We've already seen it over the last few weeks."
Parker's return from the Achilles surgery that forced him to miss the first half of the season gathered momentum after he replaced knee-injury victim Sandro in the 26th minute.
Villas-Boas revealed he considered taking Parker back to Stamford Bridge when Chelsea manager last season, before opting for Spaniard Oriol Romeu instead.
"Scott's been doing extremely well since he's come back. He's now at full fitness and a player we trust a lot," Villas-Boas said.
"Last season I thought about him. In the end I opted for Oriol but I spoke to Scott as well about coming to Chelsea. I had to make a choice between them.
"Scott's a great professional and someone of great ability. He can always give you the edge with his leadership qualities.
"He's still at the peak of the game and his age is fine. He treats himself well and is a good professional."
QPR's survival bid could yet hinge on who Redknapp is able to sign during the transfer window but Joe Cole, Loic Remy and Jonas Olsson are among those to have rejected an approach from the club so far.
However, Redknapp is gleaning satisfaction from drilling his current players into a difficult team to break down.
"It's not that I haven't been able to play like that, more that in the past few years I've had teams with great attacking flair," Redknapp said.
"I don't have Aaron Lennon, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe. At QPR I have to set up a team that's hard to beat.
"When Liverpool were here we had Djibril Cisse up front with Adel Taarabt and two wingers, but got absolutely destroyed.
"We're not good enough to play like that, so we have to be hard to beat. This was as good a result as our 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the start of the month.
"We didn't get the three points but Spurs are every bit as good as Chelsea and they didn't score. It was a great performance from us."