Shamrock Rovers FC's Stephen Rice and Richard Brush were proud after their display against Tottenham Hotspur FC who, according to Sébastien Bassong, never doubted they would win.
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Shamrock Rovers FC's Stephen Rice said scoring the opening goal against Tottenham Hotspur FC in front of a huge travelling support from the Republic of Ireland was "the stuff dreams are made of". Team-mate Richard Brush admitted to hopes that his side would pull off a Group A upset, although Tottenham captain Sébastien Bassong felt a home win had never been in doubt.
Stephen Rice, Shamrock Rovers midfielder
No one gave us a hope coming here and when you see the team they put out they obviously showed us respect, because we're not just here to make up the numbers. We're here on merit, we deserve to be here and playing against these players. It's a great experience to come and do it, and to showcase ourselves as a club and as individuals. It's disappointing at the moment. But you've got to look at the quality of the players they have, the financial aspect of the club.
I don't score very often, so there was almost a bit of disbelief as well; celebrating in front of 5,000 Rovers supporters at White Hart Lane – it's the stuff dreams are made of. It's bittersweet at the end, we conceded two soft goals. It's disappointing to lose any game ... and you've got to get into context the different planets the clubs are on financially. But there are a lot of positives we can take from the game; we ran a top, top team close enough.
Richard Brush, Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper
It's a great night and a great game to play in, but a loss is a loss and it still hurts, no matter who it's against. In the first half they had a few chances and hit the bar and we rode our luck. It was great: 0-0 gives you a bit to hang on to and hope for. To go 1-0 up, there's that little thing in your mind that 'maybe we can sneak this'. Stranger things have happened. But they were a different class. As much as you try to compete against them, there's that step up that they seem to have – no matter how they're playing.
Sébastien Bassong, Tottenham defender
It was a tough game and we expected a tough game. We knew they were going to come here to defend, that's what they did and they did it well. Before half-time we had a lot of chances and we didn't score. But after they scored, we scored and it was a good result for us. I wasn't worried when they scored, because I looked at the chances that we'd had and I knew that we were going to come back into the game. This means a lot, we haven't lost in the Europa League so it's good for the club, no matter who plays ... it's good for the turnover and to get everyone involved.
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
I couldn't have asked for any more from the players than what they did in the first half. We hit the crossbar, the keeper made some great saves and we kept opening them up, we just couldn't get a break in front of goal. We then conceded from their first real sight of goal and suddenly you think 'anything can happen' ... but the attitude was great and we got the goals. Shamrock were a real credit. Michael [O'Neill] has got them playing some fantastic football. They were well-organised, determined and they made it difficult.