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Dnipro defeat boosts Tottenham confidence

Published: Friday 28 February 2014, 8.42CET
Tottenham Hotspur FC's Mousa Dembélé is delighted to be facing SL Benfica in the last 16, explaining how after ousting FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Spurs "don't have to be scared".
by Dan Ross
from White Hart Lane

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Published: Friday 28 February 2014, 8.42CET

Dnipro defeat boosts Tottenham confidence

Tottenham Hotspur FC's Mousa Dembélé is delighted to be facing SL Benfica in the last 16, explaining how after ousting FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Spurs "don't have to be scared".

Tottenham Hotspur FC pair Mousa Dembélé and Michael Dawson spoke of their excitement at facing SL Benfica in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after their thrilling 3-1 comeback win against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk took them through 3-2 on aggregate.

Christian Eriksen's free-kick and a quickfire double from Emmanuel Adebayor earned an unlikely victory after Roman Zozulya's header had left Tim Sherwood's men in need of three second-half goals. Should Spurs recreate that determined attacking display, Dembélé believes his side "don't have to be scared" of Benfica.

Mousa Dembélé, Tottenham midfielder
Of course you want to win something and if we can take this trophy then we will with both hands. In the first half we were OK. We did not start the second half great, then I think we woke up and did well. As a team right now we have confidence, we're playing much better and everyone is happy. 

Benfica will be the best team we'll have faced in the Europa League, but we have a good team too and if we play like we did at the end we don't have to be scared. We have a lot of respect for them, but I think they'll respect us too. I prefer to play away first, but that is no excuse. We have to perform at home and make it easier away. 

Michael Dawson, Tottenham defender
Ade thoroughly deserved those two goals tonight – he's certainly a man on fire. Benfica's going to be a great tie, it's a massive game and one we're really looking forward to. We've taken this competition seriously from day one and played lots of games to get where we are. We look forward to Benfica coming here – hopefully we'll have another full house, another entertaining night and we'll come out on top again.

Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham defender
Dnipro have a very good team. Our first half wasn't good enough and their goal forced us to push everything to 100%, then our first goal got us back in the game. At half-time we were told to put them under more pressure, get more crosses in and be a bit more secure in possession. We played quicker from the back and tried to look for Ade and Soldado earlier. Overall, we wanted to play better, create more pressure and dominate like we can; this wasn't a typical display from us.

Ruslan Rotan, Dnipro midfielder
After Roman Zozulya scored the opener we couldn't believe that everything would end like this for us. We didn't deserve to lose. It is a very unpleasant blow for us. But I can only thank the lads. We could have scored more even with ten men against 11. Tottenham converted all the chances they had. It's hard to analyse the game right now, but all I can say is that this result is not fair.

Roma [Zozulya] has tears in his eyes. It was a great match [before he was dismissed on 63 minutes]. He scored once and I am sure he would have scored more. England have the strongest league while we just played our second match after the winter break, so we are not in our best shape. But we should thank our team because the result should have been totally different today.

Last updated: 01/03/14 0.03CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000470/match=2012636/postmatch/quotes/index.html#spurs+boosted+comeback

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