Results for Spurs vs Dnipro

Vertonghen reveals half-time team talk

12:30 pm
England expects and so Tottenham delivered.

Tim Sherwood celebrates
Tim Sherwood celebrates a Spurs fightback

Arsene Wenger has said on Wednesday that despite the poor set of results he believed it was too early to judge whether English clubs were in decline in European competition. It is doubtful that he will be pleased that bitter rivals Tottenham backed up his point.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have all failed to win in European competition over the last couple of weeks and you can add English Premier League side Swansea to that list. It was left to Spurs to put that statistic right.

A sensational 3-1 win after going behind and a rousing reception for the departing Jermain Defoe made it a night to remember, a typical Tottenham European night, always so special at White Hart Lane.

Spurs now face Benfica in the last 16, the Portuguese side Spurs last played in the European Cup semi-final in 1962.

Related Post: A Typical Tottenham Night

Manager Quotes

Adebayor and Sherwood salute
Adebayor and Sherwood salute
Tim Sherwood had called for character and Spurs had to show it, he was delighted afterwards.

"I was delighted with the character.

"I have got a liberty to question their character when they play like they did tonight.

"After conceding so early in the second half it was a real blow for us but it was all based on character and desire.

"I always felt we needed to score three goals to go through tonight.

"It was a bit of a nothing game in the first half but we opened them up time and again in the second half.

"You can only learn from experiences," he said.

"This will be a good example of that, many of you probably thought we were dead and buried but the lads really showed belief.

"It was electric out there after and it was only us who were going to keep scoring.

"It is a good platform, a good learning curve and something we can point to in the future.

"I was saying to Jermain 'have you been out on the pitch yet?' He told me he had but I told him to get out there again to whip up a frenzy.

"He deserves it, he is a legend, a credit to the football club and the English game.

"Did he? I haven't seen it," Sherwood said when asked about Soldado's indiscretion.

"I think the guy (Zozulya) sticks his nut in his (Vertonghen's) nose so you have got no chance of staying on the pitch when you do that have you?

"I didn't see any decisions which were too out of the way, I thought he refereed the game well. I think Dnipro played a good game and are a good side, they may go on and win that division.

Dnipro boss and former Spurs manager Juande Ramos felt the red card was harsh and changed the game in Spurs favour.

"It was a pity that such a beautiful game was affected by the controversial decisions from the referee.

"We played a good game and controlled the ball with confidence. We scored and then I believe the referee was strict with the red card and that inspired the Tottenham side."

Player Quotes

Emmanuel Adebayor took the plaudits for his two goals, he has now scored 11 goals in 15 games, and said in interview afterwards:

Adebayor 2 goal hero
Adebayor 2 goal hero celebrates his winner
"I'm very glad at being on the pitch, scoring goals, playing very well for my team, helping my team and I just have to keep the focus, keep going, keep playing well," he told ITV Sport.

"I want to say big thanks for the new gaffer, who came in and gave me my confidence back, gave me the stage to play on.

"Everything's going well for me, for him and for the club.

"We just have to keep focused and keep going to the end of the season."

Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembélé is not afraid of the Benfica clash Spurs have next and has his sights set on lifting the trophy.

"Of course you want to win something and if we can take this trophy then we will with both hands. In the first half we were OK. We did not start the second half great, then I think we woke up and did well. As a team right now we have confidence, we're playing much better and everyone is happy.

Benfica will be the best team we'll have faced in the Europa League, but we have a good team too and if we play like we did at the end we don't have to be scared. We have a lot of respect for them, but I think they'll respect us too. I prefer to play away first, but that is no excuse. We have to perform at home and make it easier away."

Tottenham captain Michael Dawson also looked forward to the next round and felt Adebayor deserved his goals.

"Ade thoroughly deserved those two goals tonight – he's certainly a man on fire. Benfica's going to be a great tie, it's a massive game and one we're really looking forward to. We've taken this competition seriously from day one and played lots of games to get where we are. We look forward to Benfica coming here – hopefully we'll have another full house, another entertaining night and we'll come out on top again."

Dawson's centre-back partner Jan Vertonghen revealed Tim Sherwood's half-time team talk and felt Spurs won without playing their typical game.

"Dnipro have a very good team. Our first half wasn't good enough and their goal forced us to push everything to 100%, then our first goal got us back in the game. At half-time we were told to put them under more pressure, get more crosses in and be a bit more secure in possession. We played quicker from the back and tried to look for Ade and Soldado earlier. Overall, we wanted to play better, create more pressure and dominate like we can; this wasn't a typical display from us."

The Spurs Game Stats

Spurs 66% possession, 13 attempts on goal, 4 on target, 3 goals, 3 off target, 6 blocked, 3 corners, 2 offside decisions (one stopping a Soldado goal), 3 yellow cards, 17 fouls committed, 10 received, 581 passes, 487 completed.

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Vertonghen reveals half-time team talk Vertonghen reveals half-time team talk Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

A Typical Tottenham Night

8:30 am
Tottenham Hotspur served up a typical Tottenham night at White Hart Lane in the Europa League last 32 Second Leg tie last night.

Never a team to do things the easy way Spurs made it hard again with another laboured first half display that created very little again. The side lacked any width with Townsend cutting inside as soon as he got the ball and Eriksen on the other side a central midfielder playing on the left.

With Dnipro packing their half there was a wall in front of the Spurs defence. Playing through two packed ranks is never easy but if you then reduce the width with the wide men coming inside it becomes even more packed and even harder to break down.

Christian Eriksen Man of the Match
Christian Eriksen put in a Man of the Match display
One option is to play the long ball and we played plenty from wing to wing with little effect or in search of the strikers, just such a move produced a chance for Eriksen but his shot was deflected over.

It was Eriksen who came closest again after 25 minutes when his free-kick was palmed away by the Dnipro keeper Denys Boyko. The half saw Spurs have plenty of the ball but the final pass was consistently not working and Dnipro were time wasting at every opportunity. Players were going down all the time and staying down which sometimes worked and sometimes the ref simply ignored them.

During the half-time interval Jermain Defoe said his farewell to the fans and the fans said their farewell to him He was viable moved and in fact reduced to tears at the reception he received. His love for the club is obvious. He will have seen many nights like this European night, often such special occasions at The Lane. His appearance sent the Spurs fans into the second half in positive mood.

The second half began and disaster struck just as it had in the last game at Norwich. A superb angled ball into our box from a free-kick after only 2 minutes saw an offside Roman Zozulya nod past Hugo Lloris, despite the Frenchman getting a hand to it.

Spurs season was on the line. The character Sherwood had called for had to be shown. Spurs now had to score three to go through.

Six minutes later from an Eriksen corner on the right Dembele couldn't quite get to the ball on the half volley. His shot bounces onto the top of the bar to the relief of a watchful keeper. Just a minute later on 54 minutes Roberto Soldado tucks a first time shot into the net from a through ball by Eriksen but he was marginally offside and the linesman flagged. Nothing seems to be going right for the Spaniard but he worked hard all night.

Adebayor then drew a foul on the left after 55 minutes and Eriksen curled the ball into the left hand corner despite the keepers a strong hand. It had taken Spurs just 8 minutes to draw level and give themselves a lifeline.

It could have gone pear shaped after 60 minutes when Vertonghen was booked and from the resulting free kick, which was squared to Konoplyanka, the Ukranians hit the post with Lloris beaten.

Vertonghen and goalscorer Zozulya had been having a running battle all night. The Spurs centre-back vehemently protested a free kick in the first half to no avail and the pair exchanged strong words. It was the same pair that clashed again after 62 minutes while Eriksen waited to take another free-kick after which turned the game Spurs way.

Zozulya gave Vertonghen a slight headbut and the Belgian lay on the floor clutching his head. The ref sent Zozulya off but he refused to leave the field and tried to get at Vertonghen. Adebayor and the Spurs players held him back before he eventually calmed down and left the field. Dnipro would have to survive for the last 28 minutes with 10 men playing behind the ball.

Barely a minute later Spurs were in front and that man Eriksen was involved again. Cutting in from the left he curled a brilliant cross into the centre where both Adebayor and Soldado had made runs. It was Adebayor first to the ball and he side footed home from 6 yards.

Emmanuel Adebayor 2 goals
Emmanuel Adebayor another 2 goals

Just 18 minutes after taking the lead Dnipro were behind but if the score remained the same they would still go through on away goals. Spurs had scored 2 goals in 9 minutes, the first goals since beating Newcastle 4-0.

The crowd sang, the Lane rocked as the fans sensed a comeback was on the cards and there was jubilation when a third goal arrived just 4 minutes later. Another long ball up to Adebayor, this time from left-back Zeki Fryers, but instead of heading the ball Ade leaped and chested the ball forward past the defender. He then ran on to it flicked the ball past the keeper from the direction it had come. Once again we saw the Adebayor salute.

The crowd were ecstatic and Spurs dead and buried had turned the tie on it's head in a balmy 13 minute spell. Three goals, another 2 for the rejuvenated Adebayor who seems to be relishing the responsibility of being one of the more experienced players.

One goal for Dnipro could still change things and Dawson had to make an important block from a dangerous situation after 73 minutes. Spurs mainly then stuck to possession football to wind down the clock but could have had a fourth when Townsend went outside his man and put in a cross but Soldado arriving late thrust a boot at it only to see his effort bounce over the bar.

Hugo Lloris had to make another smart save 2 minutes from normal time when danger man Konoplyanka hit a 30 yard effort as the visitors tried to get the decisive goal.

Five minutes of injury time much to Tim Sherwood's disgust for Spurs to hold out for a triumphant night. With only 2 minutes remaining Dawson has to take one for the team after Bentaleb, who had come on for Sandro, lost the ball in his own half trying to turn instead of playing a simple pass. Dawson was furious with him and wiped out Giuiliano with a hefty challenge to receive a yellow card.

This is the chance for Konoplyanka to seal the tie for Dnipro and curls the free-kick towards the corner of the net but Lloris was equal to the task once more and palmed the ball away to safety.

Adebayor and Eriksen were the stand out performers, all Spurs good work came through Eriksen so he'd edge it for Man of the Match for me.

A night of drama at The Lane as it so often is and a last 16 clash against Benfica to look forward to.

A Typical Tottenham Night A Typical Tottenham Night Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

It's save the season time

5:30 pm
Spurs vs Dnipro
Spurs vs Dnipro Europa League 2nd Leg (last 32)

It's save the season time at White Hart Lane tonight and Spurs will be looking to Roberto Soldado to provide them with the goals.

Tim Sherwood has called for his players to stand up and be counted, the White Hart Lane crowd expects and they must step up to the plate and deliver.

“The personality is when you are playing at White Hart Lane, that’s when you need it.

“It’s a big stage, White Hart Lane, and it always has been and I remember that as a player. It’s a big stage and it’s a very demanding crowd – rightly so – and you can either play for a big club or you can’t.

“Some of them still have to prove that they have got that character to be able to play for Tottenham."

Tottenahm went down 1-0 in the first leg after a late Yevhen Konoplyanka penalty gave the Ukranians victory. That certainly puts the pressure on, there can be no excuses, there is a job to do, you either do it or you don't.

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The game will take mental strength. If an early goal does not go in the crowd will start to get nervous and that will transmit to the players. In those times your mental strength is everything, that is when your bottle comes to the fore. Sherwood wants to see a demonstration of that character tonight.

Spurs may be without Kyle Walker who has a hip problem and Danny Rose who has a knee injury. That would see starts for Kyle Naughton at right-back and Zeki Fryers you would assume at left-back. It will be a chance if Fryers does play to show Sherwood that he has what it takes to take over from Danny Rose at left-back regularly. Just as Nabil Bentaleb grabbed his opportunity so Zeki now has his chance.

Sandro is included in the squad after returning to full training and with 3 big games coming up you'd expect him to have some game time if he doesn't start. Tim Sherwood has said he is a player who gives 100% and 100% is what is required from everyone tonight.

Etienne Capoue has an ankle injury, Younes Kaboul has a calf injury, Gylfi Sigurdsson a thigh injury, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches both back injuries.

Soldado will start, Christen Eriksen is likely to play and Michael Dawson will lead the side. He knows the time has come for a big performance.

"The first leg in Dnipro was a big disappointment and we wanted to go to Norwich and put that right," Spurs skipper Michael Dawson said.

"We didn't do that, so we get another chance on Thursday back at the Lane, back in front of our fans and it's a big game.

"It's a competition we want to do well in so as disappointed as we are, we have to pick ourselves up. We know the fans will be right behind us and they deserve a big performance after the two defeats we've had."

It's save the season time It's save the season time Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:30 pm Rating: 5

The Beast is Back

6:30 pm
Tottenham Hotspur take on Ukranian side Dnipro in the Europa League last 32 tie on Thursday night trying to turn round a 1-0 first leg deficit and save our season.

One name it will be good to see back on the team sheet is midfield enforcer Sandro. With Etienne Capoue going off injured early in the first half in the defeat to Norwich City on Sunday Spurs need a fit Sandro for the big three games in March.

Sandro back for Spurs
Sandro back for Spurs
March determines Spurs season with games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool from which we probably have to get 7 points to have any hope of a fourth place finish.

Sandro having been out with a long term injury, has been rushed back too soon and keeps getting niggling little injuries. These type of problems are so common for players suffering lengthy absences as Younes Kaboul, another who keeps breaking down, would testify.

When a players muscles have not worked in a game situation for a long time they often react to the extreme pressure they are suddenly placed under and can give way. Training and gym work can only do so much, it is only in a game situation when a player is giving all without thought of his previous injury that you ever truly find out how his body will react.

Tim Sherwood has revealed though that the Beast is back.

"We've been very careful with Sandro because he's been out for long periods and, previously. When he's been put back in too early he's had a little niggle and he's had to miss a few weeks, but he's done more training than he's ever done before so we've strengthened the injury and we're hoping that he's ready to go.

"It’s good to have Sandro back in the squad. He's a great character around the dressing-room and he gives everything on the pitch and leaves nothing on the field. You know for sure he's going to give you 100 per cent."

Having Sandro back will allow Sherwood to move the energetic Bentaleb further forward, as he seems intent on developing him for the remainder of the season. A 4-1-4-1 formation looks on the cards again.

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The Beast is Back The Beast is Back Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:30 pm Rating: 5

Danny Rose Stands Out

8:42 pm
Tottenham went down 1-0 to Dnipro in the first leg of their last 32 round tie with Ukranian team managed by former Spurs boss Juande Ramos tonight.

Bad game for Danny Rose
Danny Rose isn't getting any better at left-back
Danny Rose stood out, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. His played the game as if he though he was too good for the opposition, either that or he still hasn't a clue how to defend. Yet again the gap between him and the left sided centre-back, Vertonghen tonight, was far too big and consistently exploited.

Rose did offer moments going forward putting two decent crosses but apart from that sat on his backside when brushed over and ambled back as if he couldn't be bothered. When will this guy learn he is supposed to be a defender?

When the ball is on the opposite side of the field he stands and watches or slowly jogs towards his own goal whilst his attacker has yards on him. When Naughton was beaten then and only then does Danny Rose decide he had better run a bit quicker and try to get into the position he should be in all along. He is constantly playing catch up to the forward and putting the central defenders under pressure.

In the first half there was also an instance where three of the back line were in a line and Dnipro simply booted the ball 15 yards behind them where Rose was fast asleep keeping everyone onside some 5 yards behind his teammates. Thankfully Brad Friedel was rolling back the years.

As bad as Rose was and Townsend wasn't a great deal better, no wonder he had his head in his hands after he was substituted, Brad Friedel was as good.

At 42 years of age, the oldest player ever to play in the competition, he put in a Man of the Match performance that puts those Spurs fans who moan about him to shame. He made save after save after save, in both halves.

Both teams could have scored five but it was a Dnipro penalty by danger man Yevhen Konoplyanka that settled the tie in the 81st minute. Vertonghen had pulled back Brazilian Matheus Nascimento and the ref booked the Dutchman before awarding a penalty which Vertonghen did not protest.

Friedel had no chance despite going the right way as the penalty hit the inside of the post before going in.

Sherwood three successive cup defeats
Sherwood selected possibly the youngest Spurs bench ever
This was Tim Sherwood third straight cup defeat so he'll need to put that statistic right in the return leg. He fielded probably the youngest bench Spurs fans have ever seen with 16-year-old Joshua Onomah, 18-year-old Milos Veljkovic and 19-year-old Kenny McEvoy, 20 year-old goalkeeper Jordan Archer, 21 year-old Zeki Fryers, 20 year-old Harry Kane and 22 year-old Christian Eriksen, an average age of 19.

Sherwood had selected what should have been a strong enough side, Friedel, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Chadli, Townsend (Eriksen 64), Soldado (Kane 85).

All in all a game Spurs seemed to take lightly with to much messing around, trying to play intricate football just outside our own area on a ploughed field. Thank goodness they only hit the post in the dying minutes or it could have been much worse.

We will have to take our chances in the second leg but for now Ramos has his revenge.

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Danny Rose Stands Out Danny Rose Stands Out Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:42 pm Rating: 5

Spurs game goes ahead

4:39 pm
Tonight's Dnipro vs Tottenham Hotspur tie goes ahead despite fears it may be postponed after the countries president said there should be no sporting fixtures played today.

Both teams will observe a minutes silence in honour of the 20 people who died in Kiev as a result of clashes between anti-government protesters and the police. Spurs will be wearing black armbands and travelling supporters will be told not to display any banners as a mark of respect.

Tim Sherwood says Spurs are just focused on the game:

"No security travelled on the plane or at the hotel, we feel comfortable. We just concentrate on the game. It is never great to see violence in any country at any time but it is something we are not concentrating on. We will do our job. Hopefully when we leave tomorrow we will be happy."

Michael Dawson reiterated those sentiments saying:

"We have come over here to play football. It is not for us to comment what is happening in Ukraine. We are here to concentrate on football. Ukraine is a tough place to come but it is about us."

SPURS SQUAD: Friedel, Archer, Gomes, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Fryers, Veljkovic, Capoue, Onomah, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Chadli, Townsend, McEvoy, Sigurdsson, Soldado, Kane.

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Spurs game goes ahead Spurs game goes ahead Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:39 pm Rating: 5

Spurs Squad

9:15 am

Juande Ramos is out for revenge for being 'unfairly' dumped by Spurs but expects the visitors to be much too strong.

SPURS SQUAD: Friedel, Archer, Gomes, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Fryers, Veljkovic, Capoue, Onomah, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Chadli, Townsend, McEvoy, Sigurdsson, Soldado, Kane.

No it's not a case of the 'Delhi Belly' but former Spurs manager stocking up the tie against his current side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Juande Ramos out for revenge
Juande Ramos in happier times
Juande started brightly at Spurs winning the League Cup in 2008 against Chelsea after defeating Arsenal in the semi-final but things soon turned sour the following season and he was sacked having gained only 2 points from 8 games. He blames Daniel Levy for not buying him players like Samuel Eto'o, who went to become the worlds highest paid footballer on £350,000 a week in Russia before taking a massive pay cut to join Chelsea.

Clearly finances are a little lost on Ramos, as they are on most managers. To complain that he didn't get such signings he wanted is living in a fantasy land but with Spurs now being drawn against his Ukrainians in the last 32 of the Europa League he has his chance for revenge. He has not been back to Spurs since he was sacked so the return leg will be the first time he will be reunited with Daniel Levy, briefly I should imagine.

Despite this Ramos s realistic enough to know his team is up against it. On the draw he said: "I was happy because it's a chance to go back to a team and a city I love, a place where I was happy. On the other hand, Spurs are superior. They're clear favourites and there's a very good chance of us getting knocked out.

"One Spurs player may be our annual budget. You can prepare players and Spurs could still score four. Why? Because they're better. I can say: 'Look out, [Aaron] Lennon's quick on the outside.' They know but, voom-voom and he's gone. What are you going to do, chuck a rope round him?

"The reality is that we're light years away from Spurs right now."

The first-leg tie out in Ukraine will however be a tough encounter for Spurs if they are not fully focused on the task but their new found freedom under Tim Sherwood may stand them in good stead.

It is not just on the field where it may be tough though. The temperature is zero, the Dnieper River, which runs through the city, is huge sheets of ice in it. getting currency over here is impossible so after language problems at the airport and having your luggage searched you will have trouble finding a taxi. Now the players may have all their travel arrangements made for them but you get the idea of where they are heading.

Dnipro when a part of the Soviet Union was the centre for nuclear, arms and space development but it is a very bleak place. It is an industrial centre that has severely polluted air and water.

Quite apart from the travelling to get there and the grim reality of the conditions when you do there is also the small matter of civil unrest in Ukraine at the moment with anti-government demonstrations. The country’s capital, Kiev, has seen escalating violence in which 25 people have died and more than 240 have suffered injuries during clashes with Police.

To get to the grimness of Dnipro fans may well have to travel through Kiev putting them in danger so Spurs have put out a statement to give fans some advice.

"Fans need to take extra care if in the centre of Kiev and the Foreign and Commonwealth office advises that you go straight from the airport to the Station for transport onwards.

"Roads in the centre of Kiev are blocked with traffic as the Metro is not working,’ the club said on its website.

"The British Embassy advises that you should carry your Passport with you at all times for ID purposes.

"Those fans travelling to Kiev should take extra care. You should avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings as even peaceful protests can be unpredictable."

Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jermain Defoe and Vlad Chiriches all miss the tie through injury whilst Danny Rose came back from a knock and had a run out with the Under 21 side on Monday lunchtime.

It seems likely that Roberto Soldado and Michael Dawson will play allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to get treatment for his slight dead leg and giving Kaboul or Vertonghen a rest. Tottenham travel to Norwich City on Sunday and with Younes Kaboul having only just returned to fitness it may be asking a bit much to expect him to play two games in quick succession. Jan Vertonghen has not long returned from injury himself but is now up to match fitness so is therefore less prone to injury.

Tim Sherwood has indicated that he will field a strong team but his comments suggest the squad will be used having to travel 3,000 miles and with Norwich on the horizon. "We are out of all the other competitions and we have got a big enough squad."

Harry Kane is expecting a focused performance and for the lads to get the job done. Games like this to destinations like this can only help his gradual development.
Harry Kane focused
Harry Kane says Spurs are focused

“Every game from now on, especially away from home, is going to be hard in this competition.

“We know Dnipro is a tough place to go and we can expect a difficult match. But we’ve got to stay in the right frame of mind and get the job done. We want to get as far as we can in this competition, so everyone is looking forward to the game on Thursday.

“I’ve seen Konoplyanka [there danger man] in action against England and he looks like a great player. They’re going to have some good individuals and they’ll be a good team, so we know what to expect from them. But like I said, we’ve got to get the job done.”

It won't be a pushover and it's only a first leg so a draw would not be a disaster but you would hope Spurs have enough to score away from home and come away with a victory.

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Spurs Squad Spurs Squad Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:15 am Rating: 5

Spurs game in doubt

8:30 am

The Tottenham game has been put in grave doubt after President decrees no sporting fixtures to be played on Thursday

The Ukrainian President has declared that Thursday should be a day of mourning for the 20 who died in the Kiev riots on Monday as anti-government protesters clashed with Police in the countries capital, some 250 miles from Dnipro.

Dnipro vs Spurs
Dnipro vs Spurs game in doubt
UEFA were unable to shed any light on the situation with a spokesman saying:

"In regard to Tottenham, the team are there, and they have held a press conference, so as it stands, there is no indication the game will not go ahead."

Tottenham have received no indication that the game may be called off after reports that Viktor Yanukovych, the President of Ukraine since February 2010, decreed that there should be no sporting fixtures can take place during the 24 hour shut down on Thursday.

Tim Sherwood was asked by reporters at a press conference if winning the Europa League or finishing in the top four would look better on his CV.

"On the CV of a manager? To win, obviously, to win a trophy would look better. We’ve seen it over the years, the number of managers who have won this trophy and gone on to bigger and better things.

"The priority of the club is to achieve both, and I believe we have a big enough and good enough squad to do that. But anyone saying that winning trophies is not the biggest and best thing to have on your CV is lying.

"Of course, it is never great to see scenes of violence in any country at any time, but we have to focus on playing football and getting the job done. Hopefully that will be the case, and we will leave here in a happy frame of mind tomorrow night.

"This is the only cup competition we are left in, the only remaining chance of silverware this season, and we aim to prove we have enough strength in depth to keep progressing."

Michael Dawson, who you would expect to play having taken part in the press conference, was quite amused by Juande Ramos's claim that Spurs sat down to 'wedding buffet' style meals and that the team ate hamburgers and drank coke at McDonalds.

"It was quite funny really to read that. When he took over, he changed a lot of things, and diet was certainly one of them. But it was very interesting to see, in the interview he did, that there was a McDonalds round the corner from our training ground in Chigwell.

"Last time I looked, there wasn’t. I’m not sure where he saw that! He said we were all overweight, and, to be fair, a lot of the lads did shed a good few pounds but it’s what happens on the pitch that’s most important, and the simple fact is, we weren’t performing at the time he left.

"I had a hard time under him. There’s no hiding away from that. But what happened is history to me. We had some top players at the club at the time, while I was a young kid who was perhaps not performing as well as I might. You have to take responsibility for that, as a player, so I’ve got nothing against him.

Emmanuel Adebayor has not travelled as was expected, he has been nursing a dead leg for the last few games. Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker and Mousa Dembele have all been left at home to tend to minor injuries ahead of the Norwich game on Sunday whilst Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela and Gylfi Sigurdsson all miss the game through injury.

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Spurs game in doubt Spurs game in doubt Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5
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