We will be tired for Man City opener, admits Spurs star
SEBASTIEN Bassong believes that Tottenham's clash with Manchester City will be a battle of wills as tired international stars are thrown back into the heat of battle. The Cameroon defender is one of 12 Spurs players who have answered the call...
By Ben Pearce
SEBASTIEN Bassong believes that Tottenham's clash with Manchester City will be a battle of wills as tired international stars are thrown back into the heat of battle.
The Cameroon defender is one of 12 Spurs players who have answered the call of their countries this week, having travelled to face Poland with Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Giovani Dos Santos faces a long trip back from Mexico and Roman Pavlyuchenko has been with Russia in Petersburg, while the Croatian trio of Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and Vedran Corluka have all been on duty in Slovakia.
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Five other members of the Tottenham squad have been in action in the British Isles, and the Lilywhites' World Cup contingent only returned to training two and a half weeks ago.
As Spurs prepare to launch the new Premier League campaign against City at White Hart Lane, Bassong admits that preparations have not been ideal.
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However, the 24-year-old defender is urging Tottenham to show their mental strength and get their campaign off to the perfect start.
"We might be suffering from a slight of lack of fitness, but the first game's going to be in the head and we really want to win this game, no matter whether we're tired or not," said Bassong.
"Last season we started with another tough game against Liverpool, and this year it's the same. But we're going to have to play these games at some point so it's not a very bad thing to play them now.
"Maybe Manchester City will be out for revenge for last year, I don't know. Their motivation is none of my business. But this season is going to be another tough season because there are lots and lots of teams who want to win the title or be in the top four."
Tottenham's clash with City will be closely followed by their first ever Champions League tie, as Harry Redknapp's side travel to Switzerland to face Young Boys in Bern.
Spurs will be favourites to secure a place in the group stages, but Bassong warns that any hint of complacency will be punished.
"Was I happy with the draw? No not happy," he said. "I expected to play a good team and we're going to play a good team. If they're there in this round it's not for nothing, so I think we have to be really careful and play our best.
"Lots of people might think that we're already through, but we have to be give our maximum on the pitch to go through, otherwise we'll be really disappointed.
"You know anything can happen in two games. Even if the team you're going to play is not as good as you, you can be disappointed, so if we are good professionals and if we are a good team we have to take this game really seriously and win those games.
"I think in the head it's a little bit of an advantage to play away first, so you can score an away goal. But, as players, we're just talking about the first game of the season against Man City, and then we're going to start to think about the Champions League.