Bassong's fitness check for Spurs

Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 by PA

Tottenham centre-back Sebastien Bassong will have a late fitness test ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash against Burnley following head and knee injuries against Chelsea last week.

Fellow defenders Ledley King (hamstring) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin) are sidelined for the match at White Hart Lane but Michael Dawson (Achilles) is available after playing at Preston in midweek.

Giovani dos Santos (ankle) joins Luka Modric (fractured fibula) and Roman Pavlyuchenko (Achilles) in the treatment room.

Redknapp is bracing himself for a stern test after Burnley went close to knocking Spurs out of the Carling Cup last season, a match the 62-year-old Spurs boss rates as one of the darkest days in his year at the club.

"Owen's done a great job there, they are a good footballing team and nine points from tough opposition at home is a great start," Redknapp said.

"They will do well. We saw that last season from them in the semi-final. But we are an improved team as well. So there's every chance for us."

Owen Coyle is hoping goalkeeper Brian Jensen will be fit to return to action.

Jensen suffered a dead leg in the 3-2 Carling Cup defeat at Barnsley but should recover in time to reclaim the starting spot from Peruvian Diego Penny.

Striker David Nugent is back in the squad having been cup-tied for the game at Oakwell but club captain Steven Caldwell is not ready to return despite training again after groin trouble and Martin Paterson and Chris McCann are out for three months after sustaining knee injuries this week.

Midfielder Wade Elliott insists the team do not feel under pressure to start picking up away points.

Despite making an excellent start to life in the top flight with three wins in their first six games, all the Clarets' league success has come at Turf Moor and they are yet to earn a single point on their travels.

Elliott admits the team's standard was not good enough in their opening day 2-0 defeat at Stoke and the comprehensive 3-0 and 4-0 beatings they suffered at Chelsea and Liverpool, but thinks it is a little early for the alarm bells to be ringing just yet.

"We've lost the games, but we are probably more disappointed with the performances than the results," Elliott said.

"We knew to get anything against the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea we would have to be at our very best and even then there is no guarantee that you are going to pick up points because they are the best of the best.

"But I think we may have performed a little better than we did in both those games and maybe made it a little bit tougher for them.

"Performance-wise, we'll look at the videos, take our lessons, see what we can improve on and hopefully implement that against Tottenham.

"The nature of this league is that you are in the spotlight a lot more. Stats are picked up and rammed down your throat a lot, but I don't think we'll get too hung up on the fact that we haven't got anything away from home yet." The midfielder believes that if the players persist with manager Owen Coyle's expansive style it will soon bring them reward on the road.

"We know we are capable of it and we have shown in the past that we are capable of going places and getting results," Elliott said.

"We're not going to radically alter the way we go about approaching our games. We're just going to keep doing what we've done so far.

"I don't think we'll necessary be gung-ho or be naive about it, but I think it's our manner to go and pass the ball, try and attack teams and try and be creative.

"I'm sure if we came away from that it would take a little bit from our game. I think that's what we're good at and when we're at our best.




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