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Sherwood: Pitch was a disgrace

Tim Sherwood highlighted the poor pitch at the Dnipro Arena as a main factor in Tottenham's inability to score in their 1-0 Europa League defeat by Dnipro.

Last Updated: 24/02/14 at 11:46 Post Comment

Tim Sherwood: Spurs boss unhappy about the state of Dnipro's pitch

Tim Sherwood: Spurs boss unhappy about the state of Dnipro's pitch

A late penalty from Liverpool target Yevhen Konoplyanka settled the first leg of this last-32 tie in favour of the Ukrainian side, although both teams were guilty of missing several chances - with Tottenham stiker Roberto Soldado the main culprit for the visitors.

The Spain striker turned a glorious 56th-minute chance over the bar from close range with Spurs in the ascendancy.

Spurs head coach Sherwood, whose side were blocked by UEFA from training on the pitch on Wednesday, questioned the state of the surface after tasting defeat in his first European outing as a manager.

"He would expect to score," Sherwood said of Soldado's chance. "I haven't seen it again but I'm not sure he will be too complimentary about the pitch.

"I am not using it as an excuse, not for the chance, as both teams played on it but I am sure that it must have played some part in Robbie missing that one.

"The pitch was a disgrace, it is no excuse as both teams had to play on it but it is possibly the worst pitch I have experienced in a long time."

Konoplyanka's penalty came 10 minutes from time after Jan Vertonghen had brought down Brazilian striker Matheus inside the box, but Sherwood is certain his side will improve in the return leg at White Hart Lane next week.

"We could have played better," he conceded. "I didn't think we were very poor but the disappointment is that we never scored and we had some good opportunities to do that.

"We will score at the Lane, guaranteed, but it depends how many we will have to score."

Former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos is in charge at Dnipro and he revealed he sent his side out to accrue a first-leg advantage, rather than look to draw the game with the hope of springing a surprise in seven days.

"Our target was to score as much as possible, a draw was not for us," he said.

"Luckily we were just able to score the goal which gives us some advantage but we are pretty aware of the fact that London we will have 90 difficult and serious minutes. We will do our best and try to win in London."

Ramos' evening could have been even better had Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel not made a number of good saves, including keeping out a deflected Konoplyanka free-kick late on.

Roman Zozulya hit a post with a header in injury time but Ramos is happy to be heading to England with a lead of any margin.

"I must say that the match today showed that both teams would do their best to win," he said.

"We were pretty close to scoring the second goal which would be great help for us in London but still I have nothing but thanks to the players for what they did.

"Two-nil would have been really great for us. But we have 1-0 and we are looking forward to the second leg and will do our best there."

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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