Belfast Telegraph

Soldado: No easy games

Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado is wary of facing a Newcastle side high on morale following their recent victory over Chelsea.

The Magpies recorded a 2-0 win at home to Jose Mourinho's side last weekend and deservedly collected three points from a difficult fixture, with Tottenham held to a goalless draw at Everton.

Now Newcastle travel to face Spurs at White Hart Lane on Sunday with Soldado aware that Alan Pardew's men will have momentum on their side.

"We watched their game against Chelsea," he said.

"In the first half, they defended well and then attacked more in the second half. It was a good win for them. I'm sure it will be a good match on Sunday.

"I think Newcastle will be quite confident and it won't be an easy match for us."

Summer signing Soldado has yet to fully adapt to the Barclays Premier League but he has struck three match-winning penalties already this season.

Spurs have found it a challenge to break teams down at White Hart Lane as the majority of visitors look to shut up shop in an attempt to stifle the wealth of attacking options available to manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Soldado's late penalty winner against Hull in their last home game was such an occasion and, despite Spurs currently sitting in the top four, the former Valencia forward is taking nothing for granted.

"You don't focus on where teams are in the league, you just go out and give 100 per cent in every match," he said. "It doesn't matter where teams are in the league, they give everything. There are no easy matches in the Premier League.

"If we manage to win, we'll continue to make progress and build on the draw at Everton."

Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson does have one eye on the league standings and has urged his team-mates to continue picking up points so they are challenging for Champions League positions at the business end of the campaign.

"As long as we're in the top four we're quite happy," he told Tottenham's official website.

"We want to be in there at the end of the season and we just need to keep winning games and keep picking up three points.

"It is important after the draw against Everton that we continue to pick up points."

Spurs go into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol which saw them qualify from their Europa League group.

Villas-Boas made eight changes for the European tie but a number of players, including Soldado, are expected to return to the starting line-up against Newcastle.

One player who definitely will start is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Villas-Boas was criticised in some quarters for keeping the France captain on the pitch at Everton after he was knocked unconscious following a collision with Romelu Lukaku.

But the Portuguese manager defended his decision and confirmed Lloris will return on Sunday having sat out the Europa League success on Thursday evening.

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