Bale: FA Cup tie will cure Spurs slump

Midfielder says chance of earning a semi-final place at Wembley will inspire Tottenham team-mates

Gareth Bale says Tottenham's Premier League slump will count for nothing when they take on Bolton in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final.

Third-placed Spurs have thrown away what looked set to be a 13-point lead over Arsenal since last month's north London derby and go into this weekend's Cup tie just one point ahead of their arch-rivals.

But Bale believes earning a place in a Wembley semi-final will lift his team-mates despite three successive league defeats. "It's a massive game for us," the winger said. "We know our league form hasn't been great of late, but the FA Cup is a different competition and, being at home, we've got a great chance to get to the semi-finals.

"We know it's not going to be an easy game. It's going to be hard work – it's a Cup tie. We'll just go out there, give it 100 per cent, play our best football and hopefully we can be in the semi-final."

Spurs have enjoyed the luck of the draw this season, having faced Cheltenham, Watford and Stevenage, with Bolton their first Premier League opponents.

Bale said: "The teams we've come up against have made it difficult for us. We've got through on merit at the end of the day, and to play Bolton will be a difficult test, and one we're ready for.

"Any silverware is important and the FA Cup is a massive trophy in England and something we want to do well in."

For the Spurs manager, though, the game presents a dilemma. Harry Redknapp must decide whether to continue to rest players in the Cup, with crucial league points at stake in next Wednesday's game against Stoke and the following Saturday's vital trip to Chelsea.

Young midfielder Jake Livermore will be hoping Redknapp does rotate his squad again, having started three of Tottenham's four FA Cup matches this season. Indeed, the 22-year-old is already dreaming of Wembley, where he famously scored against Barcelona in the 2009 Wembley Cup.

"That goal feels like many moons ago!" he said. "It would be great to go back to Wembley, the heart of English football. Every player in the changing room wants to go there.

"There are no easy games and Bolton will be difficult. The FA Cup, you can never predict what will happen, but we'll be ready. It's another tough game for us ... The lads are disappointed with the [recent] results but we can take pride from the performances. We've worked our socks off and sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don't."

Meanwhile, Tottenham yesterday confirmed one of their Academy youngsters has been in intensive care for the past three days after suffering a serious head injury. Oliver Modeste, 17, was taken to hospital following an accidental fall on Sunday evening and is being closely monitored by specialists.

Spurs said in a statement: "Oliver's family has asked the club to convey their thanks for the many messages of support they have received. They have also asked that their privacy be respected at this time."

While Spurs agonise about losing an automatic Champions League position, at the other end of the table are their cross-town London rivals, Queen's Park Rangers, who are in a five-team fight for survival.

QPR, 18th in the Premier League table, are in serious danger of an immediate return to the second tier – but assistant manager Mark Bowen says last Saturday's cruel late 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Bolton has fired his players.

Bowen insists there is a real belief within the club that they can stay up. "It galvanises the dressing room," he said. "We feel a little hard done by, and it's a little bit self-inflicted, but we want to put things right. There's a real determination now over the 10 games. We're in a 10-game fight with four other clubs.

"As a team, we are creating a lot of chances. We've got two strikers who we feel, with the run-in, could be vital for us. We've got to continue creating chances. We feel they're getting a good understanding. But the rest of the team have got to give them a chance as well.

"By keeping things tight and creating a platform, if they go on to score, we can pick up three points."

Bowen may be optimistic but the fans fear Rangers' run-in is one of the toughest in memory, with trips to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City plus visits from Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

The run is compounded by their miserable league form – Rangers have managed just one win in 16 games – but Bowen insists the team do not fear anyone, including next week's opponents Liverpool.

"When you feel like you are playing well, it's like you've got no fear of playing the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal at home," he said. "We may be proved wrong, but at the moment we're just saying 'Bring them on'.

"If things are equal and we can defend a little bit better, I think we're a match for anybody."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate