Tottenham defender Alan Hutton has warned his teammates not to expect an easy ride when Harry Redknapp's side takes on Hearts in their UEFA Europa League play-off on Thursday.

After the cancellation of their Barclays Premier League opener against Everton on Saturday, Spurs' first competitive fixture of 2011-12 comes when the SPL outfit travels to White Hart Lane for the first half of a two-legged encounter.

And Hutton, the former Rangers full-back who is familiar with the high intensity and pressure that Scottish football brings, has warned the Tottenham players to expect a difficult night when they travel back up to Tynecastle next week.

"I've warned everyone about what it's like so no one is going up to Scotland thinking it's going to be an easy game," he told the Scottish Sun. "Tynecastle can be an intimidating environment.

"The fans are close to the pitch which creates an intense atmosphere. In some ways it's actually quite like White Hart Lane."


With Spurs labelled the strong favourites to progress from the tie, Hutton reiterated the importance of not underestimating the comparative 'underdogs' - or else risk being embarrassed.

"It's going to be a tough test for us," he continued. "And no one down here is treating it lightly.

"The boys will need to be on their game in the first leg or Hearts will punish them. But, trust me, the boys are right up for this game."

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