Bassong: Spurs must lose fear factor at Anfield
SEBASTIEN Bassong has a new year's resolution – to finally end Tottenham s horrific 65-game streak without posting a league victory away at the Big Four. The Cameroon defender admits he was unaware of Spurs' dismal record...
By Ben Pearce
SEBASTIEN Bassong has a new year's resolution - to finally end Tottenham's horrific 65-game streak without posting a league victory away at the Big Four.
The Cameroon defender admits he was unaware of Spurs' dismal record, which dates back to August 1993 and a Teddy Sheringham double in a 2-1 win at Liverpool.
More than 16 years later the Lilywhites are returning to Anfield, and Bassong is urging his team-mates to lay their demons to rest.
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"I didn't know that part of the club's history. Now that you have told me we will definitely try to change it. We could do better against the teams who play in the top four and we will try to win those games in 2010," he told the Journal.
"Liverpool are coming back well and it's going to be a tough game. They are still a big team, a part of the Big Four so we have to be strong. I think in the new year Liverpool will be back.
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"There are maybe five or six teams in the race for the top four, and we're involved, so I hope at the end of the season we will be in there."
Rafael Benitez's side currently lie four points behind Tottenham, and have already lost four times at Anfield in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Spurs have been buoyed by five consecutive clean sheets, and Bassong believes the visitors should cast away the fear factor on Sunday - despite the threat from Fernando Torres.
"Why does everyone ask me about him? He's good but there are many many good players in England. Torres is one of them but you don't have to be scared of them," said Bassong.
"I won't do any extra research or preparation. He's a special player but everyone knows how he plays, everyone watches him on TV. We are all football players so I know him, I know how he plays. I know his strengths so I don't have to go on Youtube or watch videos to know how he's going to play.
"I've played against him already - do you remember the first game of the season? For the moment, it's my best memory at Tottenham - my first goal and our first win of the season."
Bassong was expected to miss January at Tottenham because of the African Cup of Nations, but the 23-year-old was surprisingly omitted from the Indomitable Lions squad.
"I don't want to talk about it," said the centre-back. "If you want to know something you'll have to ask the manager. He has his reasons, he didn't pick me so now it's over. Will I watch the tournament? I don't know."
Despite his disappointment, Bassong admits he will enjoy his extra month at Spurs, and more time learning from Ledley King.
"I'm enjoying the Premier League," he said. "It's quite hard when you come to a new team like Tottenham with all the stars, but all the players helped me, and the manager and the staff.
"Ledley, for me, is one of the best defenders - even if he's not training or he's struggling with his knee. I'm listening really very well, because for me he's the best defender in the club, and I have to watch him.