Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Redknapp hopes for miracle against Real Madrid

Tottenham's Gareth Bale has not abandoned hope of qualifying for the Champions League semi-finals this evening. Spurs play Real Madrid at White Hart Lane, having lost the first leg in the Bernabeu 4-0.

Rather than give up on the prospect of progress, however, Bale retains some belief that Spurs can overturn the deficit against the Spanish giants.

“Anything is possible in football,” said Bale.

“This sport's history is full of incredible, crazy games. Madrid lost 4-0 at Anfield not so long ago. Why can't we do it ourselves? We are going to try and we're not going to give up.

“It's an almost impossible challenge, but we're going to play and see what happens. Hopefully we can produce the miracle. We need to be optimistic. We're going to go out to win from the start.”

Should Spurs progress, it would be one of the most remarkable turn-arounds in the history of the European Cup, but Bale believes that a reversal of the events of last week is possible.

In the Bernabeu Real Madrid went ahead through Emmanuel Adebayor and after Peter Crouch was sent-off Adebayor, Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo made it 4-0.

“When you play with one player less it makes it almost impossible, especially in the Champions League and against a team like Real Madrid,” Bale acknowledged.

“I think this was the big difference in the first leg.

“We hope that the reverse happens this time and they lose a man and we can take advantage. That would be a good opportunity.”

The drubbing Harry Redknapp's buccaneering side took in the Bernabeu a week ago leaves

Tottenham keeping their fingers crossed for something outlandish, something that has never been done in the European Cup or Champions League and has been accomplished just three times in all European competitions.

“Don't tell the players that,” Redknapp joked.

“They might call me up and say ‘What is the use of me coming? Can I go shopping?'“

Faced with such a daunting proposition, Tottenham were understandably speaking of “miracles” yesterday.

Redknapp said: “I don't think you can be too open otherwise you get smashed to pieces.

“It's all right saying we're going to throw everything at them, but they have got amazing players on the break, with pace.

“You could end up getting ripped to pieces if you're too open. We want to win the game if we can and see what happens.

“Listen, we know that it would take a miracle, but miracles can happen.

“We have to believe that if we play very, very well you never know what can happen.

“It will be very difficult obviously, but as long as we give our best shot and everything that we have, I can't ask for any more.”

l JOSE Mourinho is ready to disappoint a host of English clubs after stating last night that he intends to see out the final three years of his contract at Real Madrid.

Mourinho had been expected to leave Madrid in the summer after a blazing row in January with the club's general director, Jorge Valdano, over player acquisitions but the pair have made their peace.

Mourinho said: “My future is Real Madrid because I have a contract and it looks like the club is happy with my work.

“My future will be England, for sure, but that future is after Real Madrid.

At the moment I have a contract for three more seasons and I hope I do well enough to deserve to continue here.”

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