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."

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game