Spurs will beat Stoke same way they beat Blackburn, says Kranjcar

NIKO Kranjcar believes that Tottenham's victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday was the perfect preparation for this weekend s daunting trip to Stoke. The Croatian international admits that the key to the challenging clash in the Potteries...

By Ben Pearce

NIKO Kranjcar believes that Tottenham's victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday was the perfect preparation for this weekend's daunting trip to Stoke.

The Croatian international admits that the key to the challenging clash in the Potteries will be Spurs' ability to rebuff City's well-rehearsed set pieces.

But the midfielder points out that he and his team-mates faced exactly the same type of threat from Sam Allardyce's Blackburn side at White Hart Lane five days ago - and emerged triumphant.


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"It was tough, we knew what we could expect from Blackburn - defending long balls, free kicks and throw-ins. I think we did really well in defending those and going forward we were always causing problems," said Kranjcar.

"Stoke is a difficult place to go because you know what you're going to get there - pretty similar to Blackburn, with probably a more efficient long throw.

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"If we manage to contain them in that respect, to defend set pieces really well, then again I believe we've got too much for them and I do believe we can get a good result there.

"It's not going to be a nice game, we're not going to run them over and play beautiful football - you're going to play football that is going to win you the game.

"In those games it's about earning the right to play, and then when you do play you have to show your quality more than them to hopefully get the goals."

Kranjcar admits that Spurs are living the dream as they retain fourth place with nine games left to play, and ponder next Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay at home against Fulham.

And the 25-year-old is backing Tottenham to go all the way and deliver in both competitions, despite the current midfield injury crisis.

"Everyone wanted to be in this position at the start of the season and we're bang at it," said Kranjcar. "It's really exciting times and if we get those injuries back then we're going to be even stronger. I really do believe that we can achieve the goals that we set ourselves.

"The main thing is that we're winning games. Obviously we've got a lot of injuries, and injuries to key players, but we're still in the top four, which is really encouraging for us.

"I think it shows what we've been talking about all this season, that we've got a massive squad with great players. Everyone who has come in, and even playing out of position, has done a job for the team and we've continued to win games. We've really stepped up to the plate. Now is the most important part of the season. The next two months is going to show us where we're going to be.

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