Lew can Spurs ’em on to glory
TOTTENHAM v LYON Kick-off 8.05pm – ITV1 Skipper tells Blues to skip Euro hangover
LEWIS HOLTBY is convinced Spurs are plotting a course for Europa League glory.
Holtby will boost Tottenham’s continental know-how during the second half of the season after arriving from German club Schalke last month.
And he is convinced there is no reason why Andre VillasBoas’s side can’t combine a top four bid with success on the continent.
The midfielder said: “I played in the Europa League last season with Schalke, I think we went to the quarter-finals, but Spurs are able to do big things.
“I’m not saying that if we don’t win the cup we’ll be disappointed, but I think we have the team and squad to get that trophy.”
Spurs boss Villas-Boas faces a difficult selection decision when it comes to naming his No.1 for the clash with Lyon. Hugo Lloris – signed from Lyon last summer – has emerged as the first-choice keeper, with Brad Friedel operating as deputy.
But the Tottenham chief is expected to give Friedel game time, before recalling Lloris for an emotional homecoming.
Like Holtby (right), Lloris reckons Spurs are on the rise and ready to step up the tempo.
He said: “For the minute, the season has been promising, but the hardest part is yet to come as there are still a number of key matches to play.”
Lyon boss Remi Garde expects Lloris to be motivated for the return leg.
He said: “It will be special for Hugo, especially at the Stade de Gerland.
“Hopefully he won’t be eager to shine, but actually I’m sure he will.” their fragile confidence. As well as exiting the Champions League, they lost to Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup, were beaten in the final of the Club World Cup and knocked out by Swansea in the semifinal of the Capital One Cup.
But they arrive in Prague on the back of a much-needed league win over Wigan.
And Benitez’s side will be able to reflect on a positive week if they can secure victory over Sparta and follow up with an FA Cup triumph against Brentford.
Frank Lampard – who has still not been offered a new deal – admits they desperately need a lift.
He said: “We have to grasp the fact that there are a lot of games to play and we have to try to win something.”