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Tottenham eye group stages as they draw Young Boys

Tottenham are taking nothing for granted after being handed the easiest possible route to the Champions League proper.

Spurs' first European Cup match for almost half a century will be against Swiss side Young Boys following yesterday’s play-off round draw in Nyon.

The two-leg tie was a dream pairing for Harry Redknapp's side who avoided much trickier clashes with the likes of Dynamo Kiev, Sampdoria, Auxerre and Braga.

But club secretary Darren Eales insisted reaching the competition's lucrative group stage was not a foregone conclusion, with Young Boys having stunned Fenerbahce in the previous round.

Eales said: “I don't think there was a perfect draw.

“All five teams that have got through are obviously quality sides.”

He added of Young Boys: “We saw them play against Fenerbahce — that was a great result for them to win 1-0 in Turkey.

“So we know it's going to be a tough game but we're excited about it and looking forward to hopefully getting into the Champions League group stages.”

Eales did admit he was happy to have avoided Dynamo, saying: “With Dynamo Kiev, there's the travel aspect.

“In that respect, we're going to Switzerland; it's not so far to travel. That's obviously a positive.

“I think the other thing that we'll be pleased about is that we're playing at home in the second leg — that's always an advantage.”

Indeed, the first leg will take place in Berne on Tuesday, August 17, with the return in London the following Wednesday.

Describing the current mood around White Hart Lane, Eales said: “I just joined the club on July 1 and you can imagine the excitement and the buzz around the place.

“We've got a real chance to get into the group stages, a chance for our fans to experience football, perhaps against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, or Barcelona or the Milans.

“We're keeping our feet on the ground but, obviously, we're really hoping that we can get through.”

Tottenham's last foray in Europe's premier club competition came in the 1961-62 season.

Last term saw them finally fulfil their ambition of breaking into the Premier League’s top four, thereby securing a coveted Champions League spot.

Belfast Telegraph


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