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Infighting was an issue at World Cup, admits Spurs defender

PUBLISHED: 13:40 03 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 07 September 2010

SEBASTIEN Bassong has revealed that Cameroon's World Cup campaign was ruined by tension in the dressing-room and off-field issues. The Spurs defender started two of the Indomitable Lions' three games in South Africa...

By Ben Pearce

SEBASTIEN Bassong has revealed that Cameroon's World Cup campaign was ruined by tension in the dressing-room and off-field issues.

The Spurs defender started two of the Indomitable Lions' three games in South Africa, playing his part in the opening 1-0 defeat against Japan and the final 2-1 loss against Denmark, and watching the 2-1 defeat against Hollan.

Paul Le Guen's outfit were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament after finishing bottom of Group E, and Bassong admits that squad morale was a major issue.

"We could have done better. I think it was a bit tough for us because of problems outside the pitch and stuff like that," said Bassong.

"We didn't start the competition very well, every player has his own mind and when the results are not there then the tension is coming out."

Bassong is now gearing up for his second season at White Hart Lane, but the 24-year-old concedes that he is saddened by Jonathan Woodgate's continuing absence from training sessions.

Bassong stated when he signed for Spurs that the chance to progress alongside Ledley King and Woodgate had been a big factor in his decision to move to north London. However, he has effectively found himself replacing his fellow ex-Newcastle centre-back at Spurs.

"I'm disappointed for him because I think he really wants to play, but unfortunately he's struggling. Hopefully he will be back soon," said Bassong. "I wouldn't say that he could teach me things exactly, but when you play around good players you can learn a few things that can maybe improve yourself. I'm certainly not against that."

In fact, Woodgate's loss has arguably been Bassong's gain in the past 12 months and, having initially been signed as defensive cover, Tottenham's £8million man made 38 appearances for the Lilywhites last season.

"Did I expect to play so much? Maybe you didn't expect that!" laughed Bassong. "I just played to my maximum and it worked, and I will try to do the same again this year.

"Achieving the club's main goal and qualifying for the Champions League in my first season, that was a good thing for me, and hopefully we will do the same again this season. I'm just waiting for the draw on Friday now. I'm not expecting anything, we will just have to see who we get.

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