Tottenham Hotspur FC boss Harry Redknapp sympathised with injury-hit SV Werder Bremen but warned his players that Thomas Schaaf's side "will turn the corner" sooner or later.
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Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur FC are enjoying their UEFA Champions League debut campaign and the London club's manager said it would be a "great achievement" to qualify for the round of 16 at the business end of Group A. SV Werder Bremen boss Thomas Schaaf feels the next phase may be beyond his injury-haunted side but is determined not to go out without a fight.
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
We've had great days here this year – the Champions League matches have been fantastic. Inter was a great game, against Twente we played ever so well, and Young Boys. Our Champions League home form has been fantastic but it will be a tough game. They've got real quality but have not been in the best form. They are dangerous opposition so we have to give them an awful lot of respect.
We've been through that situation [that Bremen are in]. It's about strong characters – when you're having a bad time, who's going to pull you out? They will turn the corner and start getting results and I just hope it doesn't start tomorrow. The win is the most important thing, however it comes, though I would be delighted to get a clean sheet. The group is still tight, it's all to play for, so we need to try and put it to bed. It would be great for Tottenham to qualify. In this group it was always going to be difficult. If we could come out of it, it would be a great achievement.
Thomas Schaaf, Bremen coach
If you look at the players we have injured they could make up a good team, but we will cope. We will not complain and everyone will give their best. You have to be honest and say something special would have to happen for us to make it through to the next round. More important to me is how we play and that we give our best to turn things round. We have to concentrate even though we know it is unlikely we will get through.
I don't think Tottenham make many mistakes defensively. We have to show courage and you can't do that by holding back too much. We have to go for it, be courageous going forward and show what we can do.
Redknapp has a major doubt over in-form Rafael van der Vaart due to an ankle injury. "It was quite sore this morning and he's struggling," said the manager, who is awaiting the results of a scan on the midfielder. Gareth Bale "will hopefully be fit" despite a shoulder injury sustained in Saturday's victory at Arsenal FC. Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane (both ankle) trained fully on Monday and are available.
Marko Arnautović (thigh) and Petri Pasanen (cold) are the latest players ruled out for Schaaf, who named only five substitutes in Saturday's defeat at FC Schalke 04 – taking his list of absentees to 11. Three names have been added to the squad to make up the numbers: strikers Lennart Thy and Pascal Testroet, and defender Clemens Schoppenhauer.
20/11/10 Arsenal FC 2-3 Tottenham
(Nasri 9, Chamakh 27; Bale 50, Van der Vaart 67pen, Kaboul 85)
The victory was Tottenham's first away to their north London neighbours since 1993.
20/11/10 FC Schalke 04 4-0 Bremen
(Metzelder 22, Raúl González 45+2 56 71)
Bremen's injury problems meant they were able to select just five substitutes for a defeat which took their goals-against tally to 15 in five fixtures. They have lost five of their last six games in all competitions and have not scored for four matches.
Did you know?
Spurs are looking to maintain a fine home record against German opposition, with five wins and one draw from six previous fixtures. However, the Premier League club suffered their heaviest European defeat against a Bundesliga team, going down 8-0 at 1. FC Köln in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup.