Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham Hotspur will go for the jugular against Young Boys, says Michael Dawson

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson hopes to give Young Boys a taste of their own medicine in next week's must-win Champions League showdown at White Hart Lane.

Shellshocked Spurs were heading for a humiliating defeat in Tuesday night's play-off round first leg in Bern when their unfancied opponents raced to a 3-0 lead inside half an hour.

But Harry Redknapp's men eventually shook off their malaise to snatch two vital away goals and maintain their status as favourites to reach the lucrative group stages.

Stand-in captain Dawson, responsible for marshalling a defence that was all at sea, is aiming to hit Young Boys just as hard and fast in next Wednesday's second leg.

And he urged Spurs supporters to play their part to create an intimidating atmosphere right from the first whistle.

“What a fantastic place White Hart Lane will be,” he said.

“It'll be rocking and everyone will be behind us.

“Hopefully, we'll get a few early goals like they did.”

Despite being heavy favourites to progress, Tottenham played like the Champions League novices they are as they struggled to come to terms with their opponents' pressing game, as well as the Stade de Suisse's artificial pitch.

“The first half an hour was disappointing; it hurt the lads,” Dawson said.

“But we showed a lot of spirit and we'll certainly be doing that next week.”

With minimum prize money of £10million on the line, new England defender Dawson is acutely aware of what is at stake.

“We know what these two games mean to the football club and the players — everyone wants to play in the Champions League,” said the 26-year-old, who admitted Spurs could have come off much worse on Tuesday.

“It just shows in the Champions League, you've got to be ready from minute one. We conceded after five minutes and it was always an uphill battle.

“But, credit to the lads, we stuck in there after being three down, when it could have been a lot worse.”

Dawson was at fault for Young Boys' second goal, while centre-back partner Sebastien Bassong held his hands up for the third.

The 24-year-old made amends for the error by heading in the first of his side's away goals, before Roman Pavyluchenko blasted in a crucial late second.

Bassong said: “I was really sad to make that mistake, obviously, and I still apologise for that.

“It was a childish mistake; it was a lack of concentration from me, and after my goal it was like a revenge and I really wanted that.”

Meanwhile, UEFA yesterday dismissed Redknapp's claim the Swiss side's artificial pitch should be banned from the Champions League, insisting it conformed to their regulations.

Belfast Telegraph


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