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Sigurdsson: Defoe key for Tottenham

Published: Friday 20 September 2013, 7.59CET
Gylfi Sigurdsson praised the "fantastic" Jermain Defoe for the first-half double that set Tottenham Hotspur FC on the way to victory against Tromsø IL, who pledged to improve from here.
by Andy Brassell
from White Hart Lane

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Published: Friday 20 September 2013, 7.59CET

Sigurdsson: Defoe key for Tottenham

Gylfi Sigurdsson praised the "fantastic" Jermain Defoe for the first-half double that set Tottenham Hotspur FC on the way to victory against Tromsø IL, who pledged to improve from here.

Experience was the key as Tottenham Hotspur FC made a solid start to UEFA Europa League Group K with a 3-0 defeat of Tromsø IL, and Gylfi Sigurdsson praised "fantastic" Jermain Defoe's double for getting them going in the first half. The Norwegian side's midfielder Remi Johansen regretted Tromsø's slow start to the game, but pledged his team will be "better prepared" for November's return fixture.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tottenham midfielder
Three points already – that's a positive thing. I think the other team never really got going in the game, and that's maybe a good thing, because there's a lot of games coming up. We managed to get those two goals in the first half so that really killed their chances in the game, and it was easier in the second half. When [Defoe] plays and gets his chance he's always fantastic and he scores goals, and that's what he's been doing throughout his whole career.

Remi Johansen, Tromsø midfielder
It was difficult for us. We are not used to this level of football. They are, and it showed, but I think we were a bit too passive from the start. I have the feeling that we could have produced a better performance if we'd have pressed them higher at times. The pitch was very wet, and we're not used to this in the Norwegian league.

It was good learning for us and the next time we meet them, I think we will be better prepared. Tottenham are by far the best team in the group, but I'm a bit disappointed. We could have been more precise in our passing. [The second half] was definitely better than the first half, and they didn't create as many chances. We just have to build on that.

Miika Koppinen, Tromsø defender
Tottenham are a good side and today we didn't have any chance to match them. They're probably one of the best teams in the Premier League and they'll go a long way in this tournament. At half-time [the coach said] we had to close the gaps between the full-backs and make the spaces tighter because we had a few problems in the first half. We had to press them more in midfield because in the first half, we were just moving sideways. It was better in the second half.

We have to get some points and we knew it would be difficult today, against a good team. I think we can beat Sheriff, so we have to believe it. The fans were fantastic. So many came to London and it's nice to see.

Last updated: 21/09/13 0.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000469/match=2012497/postmatch/quotes/index.html#sigurdsson+defoe

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