Tottenham's Europa League hopes alive insists Sebastien Bassong

 

Sebastien Bassong still believes Tottenham's hopes of winning the Europa League are alive despite their 1-0 defeat to Rubin Kazan last night.

Spurs touch down at Stansted airport this morning having tasted their first defeat in the competition thanks to Bebras Natcho's 55th minute free-kick winner in Russia last night.

Spurs, who were without manager Harry Redknapp as he recovered from a heart procedure, were top of Group A before last night's game, but they are now just behind second-place Rubin in the table on goals scored.

Despite playing his second string in the Europa League, Redknapp has always declared his desire to go on and win the competition.

They will clear a major hurdle in achieving that goal if they can beat PAOK Salonika at home and Shamrock Rovers away to top the group and avoid the teams that drop out from the Champions League.

Given their strength in depth, Bassong thinks it is still likely that Spurs will top their group.

He said: "We can still finish top of the group. There are two games left. We'll get the chance to put things right.

"We've got a strong squad and quality players so there is no reason why we can't finish first or second."

Bassong was the man who was at fault for the goal. The Cameroon defender, who earlier had spoken of his desire to leave Tottenham in January, tried to dribble out of his own box, but lost control of the ball and hacked down Alexander Ryazantsev to give away the free-kick which Natcho scored.

The former Newcastle man was apologetic after the match, saying: "What can I say? I told the lads: 'Sorry, I should have cleared it.'

"It's simple. I should have cleared the ball and I took an extra touch, an extra bad touch. I didn't see him coming and when I found out it was too late because I had a bad touch.

"I was praying it wouldn't be a goal but it was."

Redknapp, meanwhile, was released from hospital yesterday and watched the match at home.

The club could decide today whether the 64-year-old will be allowed to take charge of Sunday's Barclays Premier League game at Fulham.

Bassong revealed last night that the first the squad knew about Redknapp's heart problems was when they boarded the plane for Russia on Wednesday morning.

"I first found out about it at the airport," Bassong said.

"He didn't tell us. I asked and someone told he me wasn't coming.

"Then a couple of hours later someone told me he was in hospital."

Carlo Cudicini, who pulled off a number of top-class saves to stop Rubin winning more convincingly, added: "It's true. We didn't know.

"You ask questions when you don't see the manager so we were surprised. Of course we wish him all the best for his recovery.

"I know he wasn't well a few days before this game but if he had the chance to watch this game he will have watched it."

PA

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'