Sebastien Bassong still believes Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Europa League are alive despite their 1-0 defeat to Rubin Kazan last night.
Spurs tasted their first defeat in the competition thanks to Bebras Natcho’s 55th minute free-kick winner in Russia last night. Spurs, who were without manager Harry Redknapp as he recovered from a heart procedure, were top of Group A before last night’s game, but they are now just behind second-place Rubin in the table on goals scored.
Despite playing his second string in the Europa League, Redknapp has always declared his desire to go on and win the competition. They will clear a major hurdle if they can beat PAOK Salonika at home and Shamrock Rovers away to top the group and avoid the teams that drop out from the Champions League.
Given their strength in depth, Bassong thinks it is still likely that Spurs will top their group.
He said: “We can still finish top of the group. There are two games left. We’ll get the chance to put things right. We’ve got a strong squad and quality players so there is no reason why we can’t finish first or second.”
Bassong was the man who was at fault for the goal. The Cameroon defender, who earlier had spoken of his desire to leave Tottenham in January, tried to dribble out of his own box, but lost control of the ball and hacked down Alexander Ryazantsev to give away the free-kick which Natcho scored.
The former Newcastle man was apologetic, saying: “What can I say? I told the lads: ‘Sorry, I should have cleared it.’ It’s simple. I took an extra touch, an extra bad touch. I didn’t see him coming.”
Redknapp, meanwhile, was released from hospital yesterday and watched the match at home.