Pitch is no excuse says Dawson

Michael Dawson refused to criticise Young Boys' artificial pitch after his Tottenham side only just avoided total humiliation on it on their Champions League debut.

Manager Harry Redknapp called for for AstroTurf to be banned from the competition following last night's 3-2 defeat at the Stade de Suisse in the first leg of Spurs' play-off round tie.

But stand-in captain Dawson insists there are no excuses for the calamitous defensive display that saw the visitors fall 3-0 down inside 28 minutes in Bern before finally getting going.

"We can't blame the pitch - we can't make excuses," the new England defender said.

"We were slow out of the blocks and it was disappointing.

"We trained on the pitch.

"So it wasn't a problem. If you concede early away from home, it is hard and it took us longer than we would have liked to recover.

"The performance wasn't good enough."

Goals from Sebastien Bassong and Roman Pavlyuchenko ensured Redknapp's men would retained their favourites' tag ahead of next Wednesday's return leg at White Hart Lane.

Redknapp had refused to criticise the pitch in the build-up to last night's game but let rip after the match, revealing the four personnel changes he made were all due to fears it would cause some of his players serious injury.

Although insisting it was a better surface than earlier AstroTurf pitches, Redknapp said: "It's not an excuse but I played on Astroturf myself and hated every minute of it.

"We've had it at QPR; we don't have it anymore in England.

"I don't agree with Astroturf and I don't think Astroturf should be used in a competition like this."

Redknapp, who left captain Ledley King at home due to the pitch, revealed he had held a meeting with his unhappy squad about it on Monday night.

He added: "I left four players out because they weren't comfortable on the pitch in training.

"Aaron Lennon wasn't comfortable, Robbie (Keane) had a problem with his knee. Tom Huddlestone, last time he played on Astroturf, he was out for six weeks - his knee blew up like a balloon.

"So I didn't really want to risk Tom.

"It was a case that we were pretty desperate and I threw him on."

Redknapp admitted his side got out of jail last night, saying: "It was a great defeat - if there's such a thing as a great defeat.

"At 3-0 down, we were staring down the barrel, weren't we, really?

"We were in desperate trouble."

Spurs defended appallingly in the opening 28 minutes, conceding perfectly preventable goals to Senad Lulic, Henri Bienvenu and Xavier Hochstrasser.

Their woes deepened when they lost both Jermain Defoe and Luka Modric to injuries which Redknapp confirmed made them doubtful for Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Stoke.

On yesterday's evidence, he will need both fit for next week's return clash with Young Boys.

Home boss Vladimir Petkovic was delighted with the result, revealing he would have gladly taken it before kick-off.

He added: "It was difficult to keep the rhythm for the 90 minutes.

"Their second goal shouldn't have been made but I'm still very proud of the team."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas