Redknapp urges Spurs to focus on bread and butter after glamour of Bremen

From the glamour to the grindstone. On the flight back from Bremen to Stansted in the early hours yesterday, Tottenham Hotspur's VIP supporters – who included old campaigners Martin Chivers and Alan Mullery – may still have been buzzing from a thrilling first game in the Champions League proper, but at the front of the plane the management were already keen to focus minds and bodies on Wolverhampton Wanderers' visit this weekend.

Constantly adapting to the different demands of Europe and back again in quick succession is one of the hardest lessons for players and managers to learn, Manchester United's experiences these past few days suggesting that even those with whole passports full of stamps can be caught out. Like Sir Alex Ferguson, Tottenham's Harry Redknapp had to find the right balance in his team selection, and there was greater satisfaction to be taken from the exciting 2-2 draw away to Werder Bremen than United could dredge up from their tie.

There was still a price to be paid. Already without Heurelho Gomes, Michael Dawson, Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe, Redknapp decided to risk the new Dutch signing Rafael van der Vaart, who made the second goal for Peter Crouch but had to come off with a calf strain after the home side completed their recovery to equalise early in the second half.

It is unlikely that Van der Vaart will be given a third game in eight days at home to Wolves, although William Gallas, who was left on the substitutes' bench in Bremen, could return in defence.

Asked to consider the next group game against the Dutch side Twente, who held the holders Internazionale 2-2 on Tuesday, Redknapp said: "I don't even think about Twente. That's finished until we play again. Wolves will be in our faces on Saturday, like Wigan were. All games are hard after Champions League games. We learned that last time and Wolves will make it tough for us."

Redknapp has admitted that after playing Young Boys in the play-off round, he should have brought in some fresher players for the home game with Wigan three days later, which Spurs unexpectedly lost to a team they had beaten 9-1 last November. The warnings are there for the visit of Wolves, who defeated them twice last season and return to London with taunts from Fulham supporters last weekend that they are "a disgrace to the Premier League" ringing in their ears.

Adding the experience of Van der Vaart and Gallas has further strengthened a squad whose list of all-international substitutes in Bremen confirmed the fact, all the more so given the list of injuries. Crouch – who forced the first goal with his pressure, headed the second superbly and narrowly missed scoring a winner just before the finish – summed up the mood when he said: "Our bench was as strong as any in Europe, so we have to take the positives from this game."

Crouch benefited from Van der Vaart's role between midfield and attack, where Werder found it impossible to pin him down. As Ledley King, returning as captain for his one game per week, put it: "In his first day of training it worked really well, linking up and playing off Crouchy. He's played at the highest level and it's great to have players like him. There is no reason why we should have any fear and we have to get it into our heads that we are as good as all those teams out there."

Spurs must now prove that includes Wolves on Saturday.

Group A

Results so far: FC Twente 2 Internazionale 2, W Bremen 2 Tottenham 2.

Tottenham's remaining fixtures: 29 Sep FC Twente (h); 20 Oct Internazionale (a); 2 Nov Internazionale (h); 24 Nov Werder Bremen (h); 7 Dec FC Twente (a).

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence