Harry Redknapp declared "job done" after Tottenham took their Uefa Cup Group D tally to six points with a 1-0 win over NEC Nijmegen in the Netherlands last night. Jamie O'Hara scored the only goal in the first half, heading in after Fraizer Campbell shot against the bar.
The victory means Spurs will probably be through to the knockout stages irrespective of the result in their final group game against Spartak Moscow. Redknapp said: "It was difficult. The pitch wasn't particularly good. It was difficult to really pass the ball but we were strong and solid and I never felt in any danger. Six points is job done."
The success came on a bobbly pitch, damaged after snow hit Nijmegen and NEC's heaters failed. Redknapp also had a raft of players ineligible, injured or in need of rest. It meant that Spurs' youngest-ever player, 16-year-old John Bostock, was a substitute and he was joined on the bench by the academy players Adam Smith, Ryan Mason and Jon Obika. The latter was used by Redknapp for the final six minutes and Mason in stoppage time.
The NEC coach, Mario Been, accused Spurs of being a long-ball team on the eve of the match – but there was nothing route one about O'Hara's goal in the 14th minute. David Bentley's weighted ball slipped Gareth Bale down the left and the ball was pulled back for Campbell to strike the crossbar from close range. O'Hara, returning from suspension after being sent off against Udinese just over a month ago, headed in the rebound.
Been had also highlighted the difference in transfer budget between the two teams but O'Hara cost Spurs nothing – the 22-year-old came through the ranks and was playing on loan at Millwall this time last year.
As NEC tried to drag their way back into the game, Jonathan Woodgate was required to block from Moestafa El-Kabir when he unleashed a shot just before the break. Spurs offered a threat on the counter-attack and O'Hara was in the hunt for a second, forcing Gabor Babos into a save with a powerful drive after Darren Bent had laid the ball off.
Bentley was in the thick of the action at the start of the second half, firstly going just over the angle of post and crossbar with a long-range drive.
Redknapp brought on Aaron Lennon for Bent with 20 minutes remaining, and the substitute's pace was soon giving NEC problems. However, Woodgate was required to make a last-ditch tackle on Kabir before the end as Spurs held on.
NEC Nijmegen: Babos; Dani Fernandez (Tshibamba, 81), Wisgerhof, Zomer, El Akchaoui, Radomski (Kivuvu, h-t), Sibum (Bouaouzan, 65), Davids, Schone, Van Beukering, Kabir. Substitutes not used: Baart, Pothuizen, Otten, Janssen.
Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes; Gunter, Dawson, Woodgate, Bale, Bentley (Mason, 90), Zokora, Huddlestone, O'Hara, Bent (Lennon, 71), Campbell (Obika, 84). Substitutes not used: Cesar, Assou-Ekotto, Bostock, Smith. Referee: C Muniz Fernandez (Spain).
Referee: C Muniz Fernandez (Spain).Reuse content