Belfast Telegraph

No excuses from Modric

Luka Modric has warned Tottenham cannot use their testing midweek Champions League trip to Switzerland as an excuse should they lose at Stoke on Saturday.

Spurs, who finished fourth last season to earn a shot at Europe's elite club competition, recovered from a shambolic opening half hour when they trailed 3-0 to Young Boys on the artificial turf in Bern to net two crucial away goals which kept alive hopes of reaching the lucrative group stage.

"To go away twice in four days - that is football, you cannot choose the games or where you play," Modric said, quoted in the London Evening Standard.

The Young Boys result result did not come without cost as both Modric and striker Jermain Defoe went off with groin injuries which could rule them out of Saturday's trip to the Britannia Stadium.

However, Croatian playmaker Modric maintains having to lift yourself for another tough domestic encounter is all part and parcel of competing at the highest level.

He added: "Some other teams struggle but, I hope we play well.

"We have big qualities to play in the Champions League and we will show that this season.

"It is very physical challenge at Stoke like always, but we know that.

"We beat them last year and I think we can do it again this year."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is set to recall Aaron Lennon for the trip to Stoke, after not wanting to risk the England winger on the artificial surface at the Stade de Suisse, while midfielder Tom Huddlestone suffered sore ankles from the pitch, and centre-back Ledley King did not even travel.

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