Football

Bale plays down pressure

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Gareth Bale insists Tottenham are not feeling any pressure ahead of Wednesday night's must-win Champions League clash with Young Boys - because they know they are good enough to progress.

Spurs trail their unfancied Swiss opponents in the play-off round tie after a shock 3-2 defeat in the first leg. But after fighting back from 3-0 down in Bern last week, they are strong favourites to reach the group stage in what is their first European Cup campaign for almost half a century.

Bale said on Spurs' official website, www.tottenhamhotspur.com: "I don't think we feel pressure. We know we're good enough and, if we play to the capability we know we can play, we can beat most teams."

Spurs warmed up for Wednesday's crunch clash with their first win of the season in Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Stoke.

Bale, who scored both goals in a 2-1 win, added: "It was massively important to get the win at Stoke, confidence is up now and hopefully we'll get the job done on Wednesday night."

Spurs are still sweating over the fitness of a number of key players who missed the weekend win at the Britannia Stadium.

Jermain Defoe (groin) is the closest to a return but Luka Modric (groin), Roman Pavyluchenko (ankle), Giovani dos Santos (hamstring) and Robbie Keane (knee) all remain doubtful.

Indeed, Keane may have played his last game for the club following fresh reports Aston Villa and West Ham are preparing bids for the Republic of Ireland striker.

Press Association Sport understands Spurs could be tempted by an offer in the region of £10million for the 30-year-old, who they are prepared to sacrifice in order to bring a new forward to White Hart Lane.

Manager Harry Redknapp has already ruled out selling Peter Crouch, who was most recently linked with Stoke. Potters boss Tony Pulis confirmed on Monday he would not be able to afford the England striker in any case.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Robbie Keane
European News
Stoke City
Football
Premier League
Peter Crouch
UEFA Champions League
Jermain Defoe
Luka Modric
Aston Villa
Gareth Bale

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