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Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Monday, 16 August 2010 21:27 UK

Redknapp plays down Spurs' Champions League debut

Champions League qualifier, first-leg:
Venue: Stade de Suisse Kick-off: 1945 (BST) Coverage: Live commentary on Radio 5 Live, text commentary and report on BBC website, live on Sky Sports

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp with his players during a training session at the Stade de Suisse
Redknapp and his players have been getting used to the artificial pitch

Harry Redknapp has tried to take the pressure off his Tottenham side ahead of their Champions League debut.

Spurs take on Swiss side Young Boys in Berne in Tuesday's play-off first leg.

And asked what failure to reach the group stage would mean, the Spurs boss said: "What can it mean? What are we going to do - commit suicide?

"Listening to everybody, we'll end up hanging ourselves. All you can ever do is your best. If we play at our best, we've got a great chance."

Tottenham made it into the Champions League play-offs for the first time in their history after finishing fourth in the Premier League last season, and they will be guaranteed at least £10m if they progress to the group stage.

"Nobody expected us to get here in the first place last year," said Redknapp. "We suddenly went from where we were to finishing fourth in the Premier League.

"People's expectations get very high but I don't think about not qualifying.

"It'll be a difficult game, but we're a good team and I've got great belief in the team."

Tuesday's match will be played on an artificial pitch at the Stade de Suisse but Redknapp described the playing surface as "very good".

Young Boys had to play a preliminary round in which they beat Turkish Champions League regulars Fenerbahce and they lost just one of their 18 home matches last season as they finished runners-up to FC Basel in the Swiss league.

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Michael Dawson is likely to captain Tottenham in the absence of Ledley King, who has not travelled to Switzerland.

Dawson made his England debut against Hungary at Wembley last Wednesday and is looking forward to another career landmark.

"It's been a special week for me," he said. "To get my England debut was a dream. It's been a long wait but I loved it.

"It's been a fantastic week and hopefully a week tomorrow night we'll have achieved getting into the group stages.

"There's so many games you watch and to play against the best players in the world - Messi and players like that - would be fantastic and a great test for us.

"Let's hope we can do it in the group stages."



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see also
Young Boys 3-2 Tottenham
17 Aug 10 |  Europe
Spurs target Euro elite
16 Aug 10 |  Tottenham
Tottenham 0-0 Man City
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Spurs fan Sutter plots downfall
17 Aug 10 |  Europe
Spurs face Young Boys in Europe
06 Aug 10 |  Europe


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