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?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
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.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried