WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN: David Bentley on being the underdogs
SPURS midfielder David Bentley believes the Lilywhites can belie their underdog status to beat Manchester United and clinch successive Carling Cups at Wembley on Sunday. Bentley is set to appear in his first League Cup final for Tottenham since his �15mil
SPURS midfielder David Bentley believes the Lilywhites can belie their underdog status to beat Manchester United and clinch successive Carling Cups at Wembley on Sunday.
Bentley is set to appear in his first League Cup final for Tottenham since his �15million transfer from Blackburn last July, five months after Spurs beat Chelsea in last season's Carling Cup final.
The 24-year-old has quickly become a first-team regular at the Lane and is confident that victory on Sunday will be the turning point in a disappointing season - and that cup final success will justify his multi-million pound move south.
"Of course, it's fair to say that we're underdogs [but] there's not a lot of teams in Europe who don't go into games against United as underdogs," Bentley exclusively told Ham&High Sport.
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"We accept that but we're a good team that can win the game. I think everyone knows their strengths. [Sunday is] the biggest game of our season but they're all big games now and we've got to concentrate on each game as it comes.
"That's how quickly football changes. We've got to win every game, that's what we're looking to do now. There are no excuses."
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Nonetheless, Bentley, who has netted twice for the Lilywhites this season - scoring the opening goal in the Uefa Cup clash with Wisla Krakow and again in the 4-4 Premier League thriller against arch rivals Arsenal - believes further success will take time.
"It's going to be a long process," he added. "Rome wasn't built in a day and there's a lot of building that has to be done at the club and that's what we're looking to do."
And Bentley, an England international with six senior caps, believes that Spurs can overcome the heightened pressures of a demanding fixture list that sees them take on Ukranian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk in a Uefa Cup match at the Lane tonight.
"He [manager Harry Redknapp] might rest a few," said Bentley. "I don't know what's going to happen. But we've got to take each game as it comes because we've got to get back on a high - we've got to get back to winning games.
"Obviously, we don't want to get injured, but every player has to be fully committed to each game as it comes.
"If injuries come they come, I guess that's why we've got a bigger squad now, so hopefully we can cope with that."
Bentley, a product of the Arsenal academy, made nine first-team appearances for the Gunners before a loan spell at Norwich, prior to joining Blackburn in 2005. The midfielder made 133 appearances in three years with the Ewood Park outfit, scoring 21 times, before signing for Tottenham, then managed by Juande Ramos.
"The more games you win the more confident you feel that you can go into big games like it [the Carling Cup final] and play with confidence," Bentley continued.
"There's nothing worse than coming into a game like Sunday on the back of a defeat. We want to win.
"It's been a stuttering season really so it will be nice to get a run of games, both as an individual and as a team.
"We don't look at it [the fixture pile-up] as a particularly bad thing. Hopefully that will help us.
"We're not going to use it as an excuse or moan about it, I don't think that's the right way of doing it.
"What we want to do is win the games and go into the final on a high, that's the plan."