Modric motivates Spurs to shrug off bruising by Boys

Luka Modric has warned that Tottenham Hotspur cannot use their testing midweek Champions League trip to Switzerland as an excuse should they lose at Stoke tomorrow.

Spurs, who finished fourth in the Premier League last season to earn a shot at Europe's elite club competition, recovered from a shambolic opening half-hour, when they trailed 3-0 to Young Boys in their play-off first leg on the artificial turf in Berne, to score two crucial away goals which kept alive hopes of reaching the lucrative group stage.

The result, though, did not come without cost as both Modric and the striker Jermain Defoe went off with groin injuries, which could rule them out of the trip to the Britannia Stadium.

However, Croatian playmaker Modric maintains that having to lift yourself for another tough domestic encounter is all part and parcel of competing at the highest level. "To go away twice in four days – that is football, you cannot choose the games or where you play," Modric said. "Some other teams struggle but I hope we play well. We have big qualities to play in the Champions League and we will show that this season.

"It is a very physical challenge at Stoke, like always, but we know that. We beat them last year and I think we can do it again this year."

The Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp, is set to recall Aaron Lennon for the trip to Stoke, after not wanting to risk the England winger on the artificial surface at the Stade de Suisse, while the midfielder Tom Huddlestone suffered sore ankles from the pitch, and centre-back Ledley King did not even travel.

Redknapp will be hoping his squad can battle through next week's second leg at White Hart Lane, where a 1-0 victory would see them join Chelsea, Manchester United and north London rivals Arsenal in the group phase for the first time. Qualification and the instant windfall which comes with it would almost certainly allow Redknapp to dip into the transfer market again before the 31 August deadline.

While target Loïc Rémy looks set to move to Marseilles in a £12.4m deal from Nice, Spurs continue to be linked with another loan deal for Eidur Gudjohnsen, who spent time at the club last season, along with Seville's £15m-rated Brazilian frontman Luis Fabiano, as well as Aston Villa winger Ashley Young.

Reports suggest that the former Arsenal defender William Gallas, now a free agent, could be set to make a controversial switch to White Hart Lane, provided a compromise on his £90,000-a-week salary demands can be reached, while Tottenham have been touted as a possible destination for another ex-Gunner, Alexander Hleb, who is surplus to requirements at Barcelona.

The striker Robbie Keane, meanwhile, is said to have been told his future lies elsewhere, with West Ham keen on the Republic of Ireland forward, whose potential move to Aston Villa collapsed following the departure of Martin O'Neill as manager.

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore