Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Europe's Greats Don't Scare Us, Says Crouch

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Europe's Greats Don't Scare Us, Says Crouch

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith in Enschede

ADEFIANT Peter Crouch today claimed Tottenham have nothing to fear from the cream of European football going through to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Spurs have already marked their debut in Europe's premier club competition by qualifying for the last 16 ahead of tonight's final Group A game against FC Twente here.

Victory over the side steered to last season's Dutch Eredivisie title by former England boss Steve McClaren would clinch top place in the table, whatever the result holders Inter Milan achieve at group strugglers Werder Bremen.

And Crouch believes that success, earning Spurs a crucial seeding and the reward of a more favourable draw, would confirm his side's credentials as genuine challengers even though teams such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and AC Milan will also head into the new year with their own title hopes still alive.

"There's no one we should be wary of," said Crouch, scorer of six goals in six Champions League games this term.

The England striker added: "Having watched Barcelona the other night -- in their 5-0 thrashing of Jose Mourinho's Real [Madrid] Galacticos -- maybe we should be a little cautious.

"But we beat Inter, the European champions, convincingly at White Hart Lane and we shouldn't be too frightened. We've performed very well against top opposition."

It is an opinion endorsed by Harry Redknapp, who has Jermaine Jenas available after the midfielder recovered from a calf injury but who may be without flu victim Luka Modric.

Redknapp said: "Teams will have looked at us -- the Inter Milan win at home was a fantastic performance -- and thought Tottenham is a dangerous place to go to.

"We do still need to get a win away from home and if we get it here it would send out a good message. It has been great to have done what we've done but we've got to finish the job if we can. It's important to finish top. You look at the other groups and the big teams are, in the main, going to finish top. There is an advantage to winning our group."

An unbeaten run of six games, taking Spurs to fifth in the Premier League, has made Redknapp flavour of the month. …

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