Gareth Bale says Tottenham can still reach semi-finals
Gareth Bale insists Tottenham can still make the semi-finals of the Champions League despite last night's thrashing at the Bernabeu.
Tottenham's remarkable debut season in the competition looks to have come to an end after Real Madrid hammered home four without reply in the first leg of the quarter-final clash here yesterday evening.
Emmanuel Adebayor (two), Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria were all on target as Spurs struggled to recover from Peter Crouch's early dismissal and they now go into next week's second leg as huge underdogs.
Harry Redknapp admitted last night that his side were facing an uphill task to stay in the competition, but Bale refused to throw the towel in, insisting that he and his team-mates will not roll over next Wednesday at White Hart Lane.
"We have to play at our best, stop their best players and score goals at White Hart Lane. It's going to be a difficult task, everyone knows that but I still think it's possible," the 21-year-old said.
"We are not going to sit back and take another beating from them in the second leg. Hopefully we will win and hopefully that win will be enough.
"Anything can happen. We will be ready for them."
Tottenham have not won a match since February, when they beat AC Milan in the San Siro to set themselves on their way to a place in the last eight.
The run has hit their hopes of qualifying for next year's Champions League and they now trail fourth-placed Chelsea by five points with just eight league games remaining.
Bale, who was one of a few Spurs players to come out of last night's match with his head held high, hopes the defeat does not dent Spurs' confidence and has called on his team-mates to resurrect their league form quickly.
"We have to pick ourselves up for the rest of the season," the Welshman said.
"We can still finish fourth or higher maybe. We have to keep going. We still have the second leg and the league.
"We are a young team that is learning and I think we can definitely learn from this."
Crouch saw red in the 15th minute after two needless bookings on Sergio Ramos and Marcelo deep into enemy territory.
The England striker apologised to his team-mates last night, but Bale thinks he should not have been sent off.
"I think the referee was a bit harsh. In the second challenge he didn't touch him really," Bale added.
"These things happen. Playing Real Madrid is a massive task for any team but to do it with 10 men was hard for us. With 11 men on the pitch it would've been an easier game but it wasn't to be."
Bale was an injury doubt before the match thanks to a hamstring injury he picked up on international duty two weeks ago.
The winger, who has recently spent two months on the sidelines with a back problem, is optimistic that his injury troubles are now behind him.
"My leg is okay. I got a bit of cramp in the second half which didn't help but I should recover from that quickly and be ready for Stoke on Saturday," he said.
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