Benfica 2 Tottenham 2: Tim Sherwood praises Spurs side for 'digging in' and feels teams will not want to face Tottenham
Sherwood feels that the valiant performance in Lisbon can help push on their form in the Premier League and put a fear into the sides they face in the coming months
Friday 21 March 2014
Tim Sherwood believes other teams will be afraid of Tottenham after their valiant display at Benfica.
An impressive 3,000 fans made the trip to Lisbon more in hope than expectation after the Portuguese giants inflicted a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of the Europa League last-16 clash.
That feeling was heightened when Ezequiel Garay powered in a first-half header, but Spurs had other ideas and staged a late comeback thanks to a quickfire Nacer Chadli brace.
Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Harry Kane all came close to taking the match to extra-time, while the latter had a strong penalty appeal waved away after being bundled over late on.
The match eventually ended 2-2 as Lima scored a stoppage-time spot-kick and, while there looks to be little improvement on the injury front, Spurs manager Sherwood believes his team can now kick on, starting in the return to Barclays Premier League action against Southampton on Sunday.
"Who might be involved? Possibly Mousa Dembele, maybe Emmanuel Adebayor and Younes Kaboul possibly," he said.
"They are three and if anyone else comes in I will be surprised.
"As regards to what this will do for us, as much as we're disappointed, to be coming here 3-1 down and still be disappointed we haven't progressed to the next stage shows how well the boys did.
"It was a real team effort, they really dug in and they showed great character and spirit. That is what is going to be required between now and the end of the season.
"No-one's going to want to be playing Tottenham. When they see what we can do when we play well, it'll be a fixture people will want to stay away from."
If Adebayor is available to face Saints, it may well result in Roberto Soldado returning to the bench.
The £26million striker has yet to justify his price tag and was criticised by former Tottenham favourite Gary Lineker during Thursday's match.
The TV presenter tweeted: "Soldado makes me realise I wasn't that s***" and, while he later claimed the post was a joke, Sherwood does not think such comments are beneficial for Spurs.
"I never followed Gary's career too closely so I'm not sure if he had a barren spell but sometimes it doesn't help," he said.
"He needs as much help as he can get, Robbie, and he will certainly be getting that from inside of our club.
"Gary was a top player, a top player at Tottenham, so we can give him a bit of slack."
One striker reportedly looked at by Spurs last summer was Benfica's Rodrigo, who netted at White Hart Lane last week but was restricted to a watching brief for the return leg.
Liverpool are rumoured to be readying a £25million move for the Spaniard - talk which does not surprise Benfica manager Jorge Jesus.
"It's normal," he said. "Every Benfica player is in a big window.
"The league is full of high quality players so it's normal for other clubs to be interested. He's going through a good moment."
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