Tottenham will miss Bale against Inter, admits Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas admits Tottenham will miss Gareth Bale when they take on Inter Milan but says Spurs have nothing to prove without him
Andre Villas-Boas admits Tottenham will miss Gareth Bale when they take on Inter Milan at the San Siro on Thursday but insists that his side have nothing to prove in his absence.
Bale has been Spurs’ standout performer this season, scoring 21 goals in 35 games in all competitions but will sit out the Europa League last-16 second leg as a result of a suspension picked up last week.
The 23-year-old terrorised the Inter defence when he scored all three of Spurs’ goals in a 4-3 Champions League defeat in Milan back in 2010.
But Villas-Boas is confident his side, who lead 3-0 from the first leg, can book their place in the quarter-finals without the influential Welshman.
“Gareth can make a difference in any game, we know,” Villas-Boas told a news conference.
“We will miss him but we won’t want to prove anything without him because we believe a lot in ourselves. It’s not a question of proving ourselves without him. We just want to do our job to get through.”
Villas-Boas, who led Porto to Europa League glory in 2011, also insisted that the job is far from over despite his side’s commanding lead from the first leg.
“We take this game very seriously and we have a good advantage from the home game but it’s difficult versus Inter in their own stadium,” he added.
“The route we’ve chosen to take, by playing it seriously, has paid off in terms of these fixtures.
“Hopefully if we can manage to overcome Inter we can put ourselves in a strong position, although we admit there are still some very strong teams in the mix.”
Inter Milan v Tottenham: Pre-match facts
• Tottenham have not lost in five European away games – a 4-0 win at Shamrock Rovers last December followed by four draws this season.
• Tottenham and Rubin Kazan are the only two survivors from the seven clubs that were granted automatic entry to the Europa League at the group stage.
• Inter, Lazio and Viktoria Plzeň are the highest scoring sides left in this season’s Europa League, with 16 goals each since the start of the group stage.
• Tottenham could become the fourth side to win this competition for a third time, along with Juventus, Inter and Liverpool.