Monday, 14 February 2011

BALE OUT OF MILAN GAME

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has conceded that Gareth Bale will not be fit in time to face AC Milan on Tuesday.

The two teams meet at the San Siro in the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League, and the Welshman will be unable to make a return to the stadium where he scored a hat-trick against Inter earlier in the competition.

"I would like to be able to scare Milan a bit and say he [Bale] is travelling," Redknapp said, according to the Daily Mail.

"But we cannot take a chance with him. The specialists have looked at him and it doesn't look too bad but he doesn't feel he is right.

"He worked with the fitness coaches on Saturday and when they pushed him he could not do it."

He added: "The Italians have been asking about him, but he caused so many problems for Inter. His improvement is unbelievable."

Despite the unavailability of the young winger, the boss is thought to have received positive news as Rafael van der Vaart is reportedly expected to play against the Italian side.

Meanwhile, towering striker Peter Crouch is also said to be in line to travel to Milan, but is far from certain to make the starting line-up.

"Crouchy had an epidural in his back as well and he looked worse," Redknapp said.

"He is touch and go. We have got so many injuries we have not got enough subs for the bench. Maybe I will put two goalkeepers on the bench to make the numbers up."

Redknapp also praised the strength of character shown by defender Michael Dawson, who scored the leveller that sparked Spurs' comeback during the victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

"You need character in your club," he said. "You need people like Michael Dawson who have that never-say-die attitude. When he was left out he didn't come in on a Friday and say, 'I can't travel, bad back', or something else.

"You don't want toe rags in your club. If you have people who don't appreciate being at a good club then go somewhere else."

Concerning potential threats to Spurs' ambitions of progressing further in the Champions League, Redknapp said: "[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is a top player.

"I went over last week and watched them play Lazio and he was outstanding. It will be a tough game but we are looking forward to it."

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