Maribor provided 'difficult game' says Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe
Friday 26 October 2012
Tottenham's Jermain Defoe was disappointed to leave Slovenia without three points but conceded last night's 1-1 draw with Maribor had been a “difficult game”.
Much had been expected from Spurs at the Stadion Ljudski vrt, where the hosts had won just two of their previous 15 European games.
However, Spurs fell behind late in the first half when Dejan Mezga's good work down the left allowed Robert Beric to prod home.
Gylfi Sigurdsson's second-half leveller saved Tottenham's blushes on a night in which they struggled to turn their possession into clear-cut chances.
"It was a difficult game," striker Defoe said. "It is always difficult at this level.
"Being away from home is always going to be difficult, but I thought the second half was better.
"We needed to win but maybe on another day we would have won.
"At half-time we knew we needed to be more offensive and we were in the second half.
"We pressed a bit more than we did in the first half. I think we created one or two more chances, although not many clear-cut chances.
"The atmosphere was fantastic and our travelling support was too. We knew it would be like that before the match and it was a good game."
Defoe's manager Andre Villas-Boas was also frustrated by the result in Slovenia, but remained philosophical about his side's chances of reaching the knockout stage.
Tottenham have drawn all three of their Group J fixtures so far and sit just two points shy of leaders Lazio and one point off last night's opponents Maribor.
Asked if he was happier with the result rather than the performance, Villas-Boas said: "Certainly on the running of the first half.
"The second half was extremely good, the first half was not so good.
"We came back into the game, which is pleasant to see again and it is good for us to bounce back.
"It is obviously not the full result we wanted bearing in mind the draw between Lazio and Panathinaikos, but certainly we will take a point.
"The group is completely open. What we face now is two games at home and I think we are in a good position in the group.
"We are in third position. We have three games to play, there are nine points to play for.
"You see the group - it is very tight. It is not a group where the leader has run off with points."
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 1 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils