Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he is still confident that the club can qualify for the semifinals of the Europa league. Tottenham managed a disappointing 2-2 draw with Swiss club FC Basel first leg of the quarter-final match between the two clubs. As a result of the two away goals, the Swiss club are now the favourites to get into the last four draw. Tottenham came into the match with the words of their manager Villas-Boas echoing in their ears.
Villas-Boas said ahead of the match that Tottenham need to be wary of Basel because the Swiss club have much greater experience when it comes to European football. They took the lead through Valentin Stocker, while Fabian Frei’s goal gave them a 2-0 advantage in the match. It looked like Tottenham will certainly be knocked out of the competition. However, they managed to pull level through goals from striker Emmanuel Adebayor and midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. As a result, they have given themselves a fighting chance going into the second leg encounter in a week’s time.
Villas-Boas said after the match that it was certainly not a bad result by any means, and he still retains the hope of reaching the semifinals.
“I think we limited the damage to give us the possibility of still getting through. Within all the negatives, there is the positive of still being in the tie and going away from home to try and get through. It wasn’t a bad result, everyone has great belief we can go through. This Basle team was probably the best team I have ever seen at White Hart Lane. All the recognition goes to a top opponent who we had to play here tonight,” said the former Chelsea manager, who also praised the opposition for their incredible game.
The Barnsley manager David Flitcroft has said that he is extremely delighted that his team were able to banish memories of the painful defeat that they suffered against Brighton earlier in the season. The Championship strugglers Barnsley were able to climb out of the relegation zone after the 2-1 win over Brighton during the weekend. This victory delighted the manager Flitcroft, who has been in charge of the team since December. Barnsley suffered a 5-1 defeat against Gus Poyet’s men earlier in the season. Barnsley opened the scoring in the match through a goal from Scotland in the 15th minute.
However, they cannot maintain their advantage as Brighton showed that they remain one of the inform teams in the championship by scoring the equaliser through Ulloa in the 59th minute. Barnsley, though, had the last laugh in the match as a penalty from Chris Dagnall was enough to secure the three points for the championship strugglers. Since the appointment of Flitcroft, the team had been on a good run of form until recently. They were coming into the match on the back of the disappointing 5-0 defeat against Manchester City in the table. This victory against Brighton brought the club the first win in four matches.
“I am very proud, we have set a team up to battle and they have done that in the first half. I have got massive respect for Brighton on terms of the football they play. I am a massive Brighton fan in terms of that. We got schooled down there earlier in the season and that was one of the worst trips I have had. But I am delighted because the game plan we set out has worked. We didn’t let them play with any freedom or fluidity,” said the Barnsley manager, whose team have 41 points.
The Barnsley director Don Rowing has said that the arrival of David Flitcroft as the caretaker manager for the club till the end of the season is a decision made in order to preserve the continuity of the club. The 39-year-old was recently appointed as the caretaker manager for the team to the end of the season after managing to get two victories from the last three matches. The club had been searching for a replacement for the sacked Keith Hill for several weeks now. They came extremely close to securing the services of the manager Sean O’Driscoll, who turned them down.
After approaching several parties, they have come to the conclusion that Flitcroft should be retained as the caretaker manager in order to avoid drastic changes at the club. Flitcroft was the assistant manager to Keith Hill before the sacking. He will now be assisted by the former Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon and the former Hartlepool United manager Martin Scott. Rowing has confirmed that there is money available to spend in the January transfer window, as the club look to get out of the relegation zone. They are currently in the 23rd position with 25 points on the board, with the undefeated four match run helping them climb from the bottom of the table.
“We thought that continuity and stability was the key for the players. With just 19 games to go, we thought it would probably be counter-productive to bring someone else in. The performance of the team and the passion shown by David over the last two weeks made us think he had done enough. We know what kind of football the fans like to see here and that is what they got (in the win over Leeds) on Saturday,” said the director of the club.