Football

Tottenham are a 'bigger side' in Europa League – Spurs ace

Holtby joined Spurs in January. (©GettyImages)
Holtby joined Spurs in January. (©GettyImages).

Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby is confident his side can overcome Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol in their Europa League clash tonight, reports Australian publication The World Game.

Despite initially thinking the minnows from Eastern Europe were based in Northern Ireland, the 23-year-old is enjoying the experience of jetting around the continent to face clubs such as Russian powerhouse Anzhi Makhachkala and Tromso in Norway. 

"I had never heard of Sheriff before," the Germany international said. "I thought they were based in Northern Ireland.

"But coming to places like this is always an experience, especially for young players.

"You learn a lot coming to these types of countries and playing these types of teams.

"It is important to take these kind of atmospheres into your game. You learn a lot of things. So from that point of view it's nice to have a group like this."

Sheriff are the most formidable outfit in the Moldovan top-flight having lifted the league title on 12 occasions to date.

Holtby, who took a nap during the commute to the Moldovan capital, was pleased to be enlightened regarding the location of Spurs' upcoming opponents and looked forward to sharing the story of his adventure with his unborn grandchildren.

"I only heard of it 20 minutes before we arrived," he said.

"I got told it was a country within Moldova. That's a new one on me but a good experience to take with me and it has improved my geography.

"I am very pleased to be here. I can tell my grandchildren that I played in a part of Moldova that isn't Moldova."

The Eastern European side have sold out their stadium, the Stadionul Sheriff, with reportedly around 200 Tottenham fans making the trip from north London.

Despite their lacklustre pedigree in a continental context, Holtby is aware that the magnitude of the occasion will fire up their lesser known opposition.

"We have to be ready for them because it is going to be their cup final," Holtby added.

"Every opponent we face in the Europa League sees us as the bigger side.

"We are Tottenham Hotspur, we are a fantastic club, we have got quality players throughout the squad, so everybody is buzzing when they play against us.

"It makes us proud to be in that position. But we are only concerned with trying to get our win, continuing our 100 per cent points tally and qualifying from the group as quickly as possible."

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Topics:
Football
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur

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