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Redknapp to play youngsters again

Yevgen Seleznov heads the opener as Dawson (left) can only look on
Yevgen Seleznov heads the opener as Dawson (left) can only look on

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said after the 2-0 loss at Shakhtar Donetsk that he will have to field an even less experienced team for the second leg.

A much-changed Spurs side stood strong for most of the first leg, but Yevgen Seleznov and Rodrigues Jadson scored goals inside the final 11 minutes.

"I gave one 17-year-old (Dean Parrett) his debut and might have four 17-year-olds next week," said Redknapp.

"When we play the second leg it will only be half as strong as this side."

With Spurs embarking on a run of six fixtures in 17 days, Redknapp started with a weakened side for the last-32 tie against the Ukrainian champions.

It's going to be an uphill task - but we believe we can do it

Michael Dawson on the second leg

Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson were the only players in the starting line-up who had been in action in the goalless draw against Arsenal last weekend, with 17-year-old midfielder Dean Parrett making his debut.

Luka Modric, Jonathan Woodgate, Wilson Palacios and Aaron Lennon were among the players rested.

Spurs face Hull on Monday before the second leg at White Hart Lane on 26 February and then meet Manchester United in the Carling Cup final three days later.

"If someone can tell me how to find a team the Thursday before a cup final then I'd like to know. It's a crazy schedule, six games in 17 days and all big games.

"We have good young players and this is good experience for them.

"I felt if we could stay in the game for 60-70 minutes we could push on for the last 15 or so.

"I couldn't see them scoring and thought they had run out of ideas but we gave a silly free-kick away and were punished. That's how it goes. It won't be easy now.

"I felt we contained them easily tonight but to pull a two-goal deficit back isn't going to be easy."

Defender Dawson believes Tottenham can still progress in the Uefa Cup despite Thursday's defeat.

"It's going to be an uphill task - but we believe we can do it," he said.

"We knew coming to a place like this they would have a lot of the ball but we're disappointed."

And Dawson refused to use the absence of several senior players as an excuse, saying: "Look at the players who've come in, we had a great team out there and believed we could come here and win.

"But we know how good we are at home and we'll have to take the game to them."

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see also
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Tottenham
19 Feb 09 |  Europe
Uefa Cup as it happened
19 Feb 09 |  Europe

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