Redknapp replaces Juande Ramos as Spurs manager on Saturday night.
“People think I was a West Ham fan as kid because I love that club,” he confessed, “but it was Spurs I used to go and watch, they were the team I supported.
“Now I’ve been given an opportunity that I’ve waited for all my life.
“Since I started as a manager, I’ve always craved working for a big club, a club with heritage and style — that’s what Spurs have got.
“I want to put them back where they belong, up there with Arsenal.
“I’ll be at White Hart Lane today, of course I will. I’ll go into the dressing room before the match and say: ‘Hey, fellas, let’s go out there and win a football match.’
“It’s all about confidence. I want to put that back in the players and give them the chance to show what they can do.
“There’s fantastic players here and they deserve the opportunity to show what they can do.
“I’ll do the job on my terms. If we’re going to survive, then I’ll do it as the manager.
“I’ve always wanted to be in charge. If I sign rubbish players then I’ll get the stick for it but there will be my players, not some director of football’s.”
He continued: “Of course it’s tough to turn my back on Pompey because I love it there and I’m leaving behind some great friends. But how often do you get the chance to manage Spurs?
“When anybody says Spurs, I think of Bill Nicholson and the great Double-winning team of the Sixties.
“They played with style and that’s what I want to bring back.
“It was a hard decision but Portsmouth have picked up £5million in compensation and I reckon that’s a world record transfer fee for a manager.
“I hope that helps heal a bit of the pain they’ll be feeling and I think they’ll understand my reasons for leaving.
“I spoke to Clive Allen, who is Spurs through and through, and he just said: ‘Harry, go for it, it’s what you’ve been waiting for all your life.’
“And he’s dead right, a fantastic club with a magnificent history, how could I say no?
“Yes, I’ve got a great life down in Dorset but that’s not the be-all-and-end-all.
“I’ll be moving back up to London because I want to devote everything to this job.
“Listen, I’m 61 years old, this probably won’t come around again. When I turned Newcastle down, I thought I’d be at Pompey for life.
“I feel sorry for Juande Ramos, he did the best job he could do but it didn’t work out for him.
“It’s tough on the fella but it’s happened to me in the past and you just have to accept it and move on. I know Spurs are in a dire position but I wouldn’t be taking the job if I wasn’t confident of turning things around.
“If I don’t get it right and we’re relegated, then I’ll walk away. I’ll hold my hands up and admit I wasn’t up to the job, I won’t hang around. But I don’t think that’s going to happen, there are too many good players for that.”