Basel on front foot for Tottenham visit
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Having been pegged back at Tottenham Hotspur FC, coach Murat Yakin is adamant his FC Basel 1893 team will "put on pressure and create chances" in the second leg.
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His side hold a slender advantage in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final following last week's 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur FC, but Murat Yakin is determined there will be no let-up from FC Basel 1893 as they target a first European semi-final.
The Swiss team were two goals in front in north London and, despite the disappointment of allowing their opponents back into the contest, Yakin is confident Basel will not let any lead slip again. "I don't think the players will start the match thinking a draw will be enough; we will put pressure on the opposition in order to create chances, as we have done all season," the coach said.
Basel have won their last four UEFA Europa League fixtures at St. Jakob-Park, and Yakin is expecting another strong performance against the two-time UEFA Cup winners. "Our team know how to play at home and how to generate the spirit to play, especially in front of the home crowd," he said. "We want to score goals, that is our aim. We saw that we have to change a few things from the first leg and we'll do that. Tottenham can switch quickly from defence to attack, but we will try to impose our game. The team are confident enough to do that."
Victorious in this competition as FC Porto coach in 2010/11, André Villas-Boas will be without Gareth Bale (ankle), Aaron Lennon (knee) and William Gallas (calf), who all picked up injuries in the first leg, while Jermain Defoe is out with a hip problem. Tottenham, however, showed considerable spirit in fighting back at White Hart Lane, with centre-back Michael Dawson saying: "Basel showed how strong they are – but so did we. It'll be a tough match but we still believe we can qualify."
To do so, Villas-Boas argues the Premier League side must turn the tables on their opponents. "We will have to play with ambition and motivation, and we'll need to be as focused as Basel were last week," the Tottenham manager added. "We need great organisation; we have to give them a lot of credit for their organisation. The players and coach, everyone did what he was supposed to. Basel are an attacking team and so are we, so we can expect some goals."