Match reaction: Gary Smith and Harry Redknapp
11:25 21 February 2012
Stevenage and Spurs managers on the weekend’s match, and the replay at White Hart Lane
STEVENAGE manager Gary Smith: “I felt the performance really epitomised an FA Cup tie and what we’re about. [It is a] very, very hard working, organised and dogged group that I thought kept a tremendous Tottenham side from creating a lot more than they’re probably capable of.
“There’s a bundle of energy about the team and I thought maybe when that intensity dropped towards the end of both halves the players’ organisational skills to keep some very talented individuals at bay was fantastic. I’m very, very pleased for them and all of their efforts and they came away with a result which is great news.
“You’re talking about international players and very talented guys who have run into an awful lot in their careers, there’s an awful lot of experience in there.
“Harry’s decision to play one or two more physical players probably lent to the fact that at home we’re a very boisterous group and I think the coaches had seen that and I thought it made for quite a condensed and competitive game in the first 45 minutes.
“When it opened up a bit I think we showed good composure in our defending duties and we created one or two half chances. You’re not going to create a wealth of opportunities against this sort of team. Unfortunately for us today [we needed] a tad more composure in the right areas and probably from the dead balls we were most disappointed.
“We’ll got to White Hart Lane with a lot of belief. The bookmakers didn’t give us [a chance] today, so I’m sure the odds will be a lot longer. It’s 90 minutes of football, 11 players on the field.
“It’ll be a lot tougher for sure, but they have two very difficult games either side of us and I’m sure that’ll play into Harry’s preparations for the game.
“We’ll go there with a lot of belief, we’ll go there with a lot of energy and tenacity and maybe luck shines on us, who knows. It’ll certainly be a lot tougher affair than we encountered today, which was tough enough.”
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp: “I expected it to be tough. I knew how hard it was going to be. The pitch was bumpy and bobbly and the ball was bobbling everywhere. It was a difficult game to play football. We’ve all been here. Been here so many times in the past nothing happened that surprised me. I thought it’d be a tough game.
“We started lumping it, didn’t we? It wasn’t part of the plan but I think the lads weren’t comfortable passing the ball on [the pitch] and we ended up going long which isn’t what we wanted to do. They pressed us and made it hard. It’s not how we play we pass the ball.”
On picking three centre backs to face Stevenage: “We looked at [Boro]. They’re so powerful on set plays I just felt we’ve only got two people in our team who head the balls, the two centre-halves.
“Other than that [we have a] little left-back, the right-back, small in midfield really. Luka [Modric] was supposed to play but went down with the flu, and I felt we needed to get three headers of the ball in the team somehow.”