AVB unfazed by Bale absence
By Football News
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is not daunted by the prospect of facing Inter Milan without star man Gareth Bale.
Spurs head into their Europa League round-of-16 second-leg clash at San Siro on Thursday holding a 3-0 advantage after the first leg at White Hart Lane, but Bale will miss the return clash through suspension.
The Welshman has been in scintillating form this season for Spurs, but Villas-Boas feels his side will rise to the occasion even without the brilliant winger.
"We've been in situations where he hasn't been with us but obviously Gareth, with the form he's in, he can make the difference in every single game, so the squad will miss him," Villas-Boas said.
"I don't think the squad will try to prove anything without him, because we believe a lot in ourselves, we also believe a lot in Gareth - but it's not a question of proving ourselves without him.
"But hopefully we can do just enough to go through, that's our main focus for tomorrow."
Villas-Boas denied he would field a weakened side for the game, and insisted the Europa League is a competition his squad is not taking lightly.
"We will play a strong team to make sure we go through in this competition," he said. "We take this game very seriously.
"It's been a brilliant experience so far and it shows the route we've chosen to take, by playing it seriously, has paid off in terms of these fixtures, which has been amazing.
"Hopefully if we can manage to overcome Inter we can put ourselves in a strong position, although we admit there are still some very strong teams in the mix."