HARRY Redknapp lauded his Tottenham team for their quickfire start in the 5-0 win at Hearts which all but sealed their place in the Europa League group stages.
Goals from Rafael van der Vaart, Jermain Defoe and Jake Livermore inside the opening half hour of the play-off first leg were followed up by second-half strikes from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in a comprehensive success.
A contest billed in some quarters as a 'Battle of Britain' between Scotland's third best side and England's fifth now appears to have ended before next week's return leg at White Hart Lane.
Redknapp said: "We started off so well, we moved the ball about fantastic tonight and it was difficult for them to stay with us.
"The movement off the ball, the passing was absolutely top class and that's how I like to see us play.
"That's how we try to play and that's how I want them to play and first half it couldn't have gone better."
Spurs were last season mixing it among Europe's elite, beating Inter Milan and AC Milan in the Champions League before being knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Real Madrid, and their class told throughout.
Redknapp, who said he would make changes for next week's return leg, was hesitant to criticise Scottish football, but explained the gap in class was self-evident.
He added: "I don't want to be disrespectful to Scottish football, but there is obviously a big gulf. It's plain for anybody to see.
"It is a different level now, for sure - it's pretty obvious. Resources are completely different.
"I've seen some good games, but there's a difference - you look at the money the players earn in the Premier League and the money that's paid in transfers, there's got to be a gulf.
"Listen, we had a good day. We could come here again and it could be different.
"First half we played ever so well and it was difficult for them."
It took little more than four minutes for Spurs to take the lead as Van der Vaart opened the scoring and Defoe netted a second eight minutes later.
Livermore struck on his third Spurs appearance after 28 minutes as the visitors - playing their first competitive match of the season following the trouble in London - scythed through the hosts' defence once more.
After demonstrating their superior speed and strength in the first half, Bale did so once more as he netted a fourth after 63 minutes and Lennon added a fifth after 78 minutes.
It was a pleasing display for Redknapp ahead of Monday's Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester United.
Redknapp was happy with the contribution of Livermore and his midfield partner this evening.
He added: "Niko Kranjcar was outstanding in midfield tonight. He never plays there really.
"He played centrally tonight and enjoyed it, joined up with Rafa (Van der Vaart) well and he was outstanding."
Redknapp confirmed he could be close to adding to his attacking options, with chairman Daniel Levy in negotiations over a move for Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
Redknapp added: "It seems to have been progressing along and it seems like it probably will happen but I'm not 100% sure."
Hearts boss Paulo Sergio believes his side showed Spurs too much respect.
He said: "First half we were on the pitch like someone who had bought a ticket, with our eyes on the ball, no press at all - it was awful.
"When you let players like Tottenham touch the ball and run into empty space it's dangerous for you.
"We showed them too much respect. They are men like us.
"They played as they wanted in the first half.
"We know there's a huge difference between us and Tottenham, but I know we should do better than we did in the first half."
Sergio's attentions will turn to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and Kilmarnock on Sunday before next Thursday's second leg, when he hopes his team put on an improved display.
He added: "In football as in life, you should learn from the mistakes you make.
"It's another opportunity to show that you learn, that you are well prepared for the future.
"People that don't learn are maybe not going to play too many times with me."