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

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
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.

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?