Redknapp: attack is the best way to defend our first-leg advantage

Bale doubtful to start but Spurs manager pledges to stick with adventurous Champions League approach against Milan
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The Independent Football

The Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has promised to attack Milan in tonight's Champions League match at White Hart Lane. Spurs have a 1-0 lead from the first leg at San Siro but, rather than defend their away goal and play on the counter-attack, Redknapp has pledged to continue with the adventurous style that has been so successful in Europe so far, despite the probable absence of Gareth Bale.

"We all want to continue in the competition," Redknapp said yesterday. "It's a fantastic competition and once you've played in it you want more. It's wide open to win this year and we're still in it but we still have to beat Milan. They are a strong team but my message to the players will be, 'Let's get after them and try to score again'. We're not going to change our style of play, try to sit back and defend that away goal, that wouldn't be right for us."

Spurs' home games in the Champions League so far this season have tended to be high-scoring affairs and Redknapp expects a similar outcome this evening. In the play-off round his side beat Young Boys 4-0 at White Hart Lane, while in the group stage they saw off Twente 4-1, Internazionale 3-1 and Werder Bremen 3-0.

"We do score goals and sometimes have difficulty stopping them," Redknapp said, "but we pick an open team and we'll have a go tomorrow. They are coming here to win, they have to, and we're taking the same approach, so it's set up to be a fantastic game."

Redknapp said that Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is fit to play after a calf injury, and is likely to play behind Peter Crouch. Bale, however, is unlikely to start after failing to recover full fitness after injury. "He trained this morning," Redknapp said of the Welsh winger who was so effective in the match against Milan's city rivals Inter last November. "His back was OK but he felt a little stiff in his legs so we will wait until tomorrow to see how he is. It's touch and go. At the moment it would be doubtful whether he would be fit to start. He's desperate to play but won't if he's not 100 per cent."