By Tottenham Hotpsur
How are you feeling after last night’s victory over the European champions Inter Milan?
To have played so well against the champions and thoroughly deserved the win, it was a great night all-round. It was a fantastic atmosphere at White Hart Lane last night. The crowd were great and the players were brilliant, every single one of them. They played so well, it just couldn’t have gone better for us.
Everyone is talking about Gareth Bale today, what did you make of his performance last night?
We saw in the first game what he was capable of against Maicon. If you were picking a World XI side then Maicon would have been in it. He was voted UEFA’s Defender of the Year last year but yet Gareth absolutely destroyed him over the two games. When you can do that to a player rated as highly as Maicon then that shows you the kind of performance that Gareth turned in over the two games. But it was a great performance from everybody. The whole team was great from back to front, everybody did their job. Carlo Cudicini came in and made a world-class save to keep us in front and the back four, midfield, forwards were all superb.
What is going to happen if somebody comes in and bids say £35million for Gareth?
You couldn’t buy him for that, that’s for sure. If he had a value it would be way in excess of that. He really is an amazing young player. We wouldn’t even entertain a bid. The chairman has said he is not for sale and that is good enough. We don’t want to sell him. We are looking to build a team at Tottenham. We are a club that are going places. We have a new training ground coming, hopefully a change in stadiums, we are going forward. The chairman has said on many occasions now that we are not looking to sell our best players now, we are looking to build a team and if you build a team you have to hang on to the Gareth Bale’s of this world.
There were a few raised eyebrows when you signed William Gallas, did you take some heat when you got him to White Hart Lane?
Not from the fans, no. It it was difficult but the chairman backed me again. I wanted to bring him in, he was a great free transfer. He was brilliant last night alongside young Younes Kaboul who has come on bundles and been in great form. When you think we have [Michael] Dawson, [Ledley] King, [Jonathan] Woodgate all missing you realise how magnificent William has been for us. His experience has been vital, he has played in World Cups, championship-winning teams, he is a top player so we are delighted to have him here. But as I keep saying it was an all-round performance from everybody last night.
How can you improve this side further?
It is difficult to bring players into our squad because we have so many good players here including many who are not even getting into the team at the moment like Niko Kranjcar, Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko. Last night Jermaine Jenas started on the bench with Wilson Palacios, Sebastien Bassong they are all good players who should be playing but the team is playing well. It is a squad game now so if you’re going to bring anybody in, they’ve got to be better than what you’ve got and it is difficult to find unless they are real top drawer. It is not a case of bringing average players in, squad players. If anybody is going to come in then they have got to make it better.
What chance is there that Spurs could go all the way in the Champions League?
I don’t know. I just wanted to get through that knockout stage to start with! We were nearly out against Young Boys after that first half in Switzerland but we managed to pull ourselves out of a real difficult situation and then came back home and won the game comfortably. We just want to get through his group. It is still wide open. Twente are top of the Dutch league and they went to Germany last night and won 2-0 so it is all to play for. Noone is guaranteed a place in the next round. It is going to be a tight group.
You have transformed this side from bottom of the Premier League to beating the Champions League holders in two years. How have you managed to achieve this?
I think it is about confidence. We have brought a few players in while one or two here have got better and grown up. Gareth Bale when I came here had gone more than 20 games without being on the winning side and he was out the picture. He wasn’t playing but his confidence now is sky high. Perhaps Luka Modric was not producing what people were hoping he would when he first arrived but now he is a world-class player. It is confidence and a bit of belief from everyone, I think that is the key and now they’re all enjoying their football. It is a team effort here though, I have got people like Kevin Bond, Joe Jordan, Clive Allen, Tony Parks as well as Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood helping me. I get so much help and without them we wouldn’t be where we are.
If Tottenham’s name isn’t on the Champions League trophy this season then which team is?
They are all good sides but if I had to answer honestly I think the favourites are the two Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona. But certainly I wouldn’t underestimate Chelsea, Arsenal or Man United, they are all good sides and so are Tottenham. We want to stay in as long as we can and enjoy it.