Jenas: Thrilling campaign in store as Spurs aim for Champions League knockouts
JERMAINE Jenas believes that Tottenham have set themselves up for a thrilling campaign in the league and Champions League as they prepare to face Werder Bremen tonight.
Spurs host the Germans at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, and a home win would take Harry Redknapp’s side through to the last 16 in their first ever season in Europe’s elite competition.
Tonight’s showdown follows Saturday’s derby win over Arsenal, which left Spurs six points off the top of the Premier League, and prompted Redknapp to talk up Tottenham’s title hopes.
“If we could have looked into a crystal ball at the start of the season and said that we’d be nearly through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and sitting where we are in the league now, we would have taken that,” said Jenas.
“I think we learned a lot when we played Bremen out in Germany. First and foremost we’re going to go into it with high spirits and, back at the Lane, the European nights are fantastic.
“We know that if we win the game we’re through to the knockout stages so we’re going to go for it, but with caution also because Bremen are a top side.
“I’ve seen recently that in the league they’ve been picking up some half-decent results, so they’re going to do what they can to stifle us.
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“But I think what we do in the Champions League is now helping us in the Premier League as well. We’re beating teams like Milan and we’re feeling like we can beat any team.
“We go into games thinking ‘well we’ve beaten Milan’, and we’ve gone to the San Siro and we’ve got a great result over there – in the second half anyway, with the conditions of the situation.
“I think what’s happening in the Champions League is filtering into the Premier League and building confidence within ourselves. It’s just important now that after the good result against Blackburn and the good result against Arsenal that we follow it with a good win on Wednesday night and get ourselves through to the next round.”
Werder Bremen’s biggest threat at the Lane is likely to come in the diminutive shape of Marko Marin, the 21-year-old playmaker who scored the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Spurs in September.
“I watched him play for Germany last week as well and he’s an [Andrey] Arshavin type of player, a bit like Luka [Modric] for us,” said Jenas. “He’s creative and he’s got a very low centre of gravity, so he’s difficult to get around, but I thought we did an okay job against him – especially in the first half over there.
“He came into it more in the second half and got his goal obviously, but these are things that the manager’s all fully aware of and he’ll brief us and make sure that we’re ready to go into that game.”