Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Tottenham hit by club-wide virus

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is hoping the virus sweeping through the club will not derail their Champions League hopes like four years ago.

Following "several" first-team players suffering illness this week, it was decided to close the indoor facilities at the Spurs Lodge training ground for sterilisation, with Redknapp holding his pre-match media briefing at White Hart Lane ahead of Sunday's clash against Everton.

Vedran Corluka and Wilson Palacios were the worst affected but could still be fit for the Barclays Premier League clash against David Moyes' men as Spurs look to maintain their top-four challenge.

A statement from Spurs read: "A number of (academy) scholars and several first-team players have reported feeling unwell and, as a precaution, are being kept away from the training ground for a period of 48 hours in order to avoid the risk of spread.

"As an additional precaution, the club has undertaken a comprehensive deep clean of the entire training ground's facilities while all administrative and academy staff have been instructed to work from home until Monday."

It was in 2006 when Spurs were favourites to finish fourth heading into the final game of the season only to be hit by a norovirus, which was thought to have been a result of food poisoning from a lasagne.

With Spurs now back in the top four after last Sunday's win at Wigan, Redknapp feels the virus will not affect their chances of staying there.

Redknapp said. "We are going to train (at the Lodge) but everything else is off limits - the offices and the cafeteria. There will be no food or anything.

"We are just going to go in and train and then get out of there. It's a case of just get into the changing rooms, get out on the pitch, shower and get out of there. Other than that it's been closed down there completely.

"We had a few down with it the other day. Corluka had the virus and Palacios was not feeling great with it either.

"It has swept through the Academy. There are about 18 who work there or the kids who have all got it so the doctor decided we couldn't use it.

"It hasn't disrupted us, we are still training as normal and hopefully no-one else gets it but there have been so many other people who have gone down with it, including a few of the press boys who came over on Tuesday, it is certainly spreading."

The last thing Redknapp needs at the moment is more fitness concerns as Aaron Lennon is out with a groin strain and has seen another specialist about his problem.

Ledley King looks set to miss the Everton game with a thigh problem, while Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch will have slight knocks assessed.

"Aaron has been to see a another specialist and got another opinion," Redknapp said.

"We are just waiting really but it looks like he is going to be out for a little while. It's disappointing because it has been a long job.

"Hopefully he won't need surgery but if he did it should have been done earlier on, that's the problem. The medical staff didn't feel surgery was necessary and went down the other route but we still haven't got him fit yet.

"Surgery would be the last resort but hopefully we won't need that. We hope with rest and strengthening we can get him back fit.

"We need him back, he's important to me and is a fantastic player but he's not available so there's nothing we can do."