March 15 2014 Latest news:
David Freezer, Twitter @davefreezer
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur are preparing for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Norwich City in extreme conditions far from the warm welcome they will receive in Norfolk this weekend.
Spurs are in Ukraine, where political unrest sees the eastern European country in the midst of distressing riots and fighting.
The north London side, managed by former Canaries midfielder Tim Sherwood, are set to play their Europa League round-of-32 first leg against Dnipro tonight.
That is despite plans for a day of mourning in Ukraine following the political unrest in Kiev, UEFA has announced.
Dnipro are based in the city of Dnipropetrosk, 220 miles south-east of Kiev, where scenes of death and bloodshed continue to be beamed around the world from, as police clash with anti-government protestors.
It is a nervy situation for Sherwood’s in-form side to deal with before heading for the much calmer surroundings of Norfolk this weekend.
Sherwood, who played 88 times for the Canaries between 1989 and 1992, has left a whole host of first-team regulars at home for the clash with a mind on Sunday’s Carrow Road clash.
The likes of in-form striker Emmanuel Adebayor, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and England full-back Kyle Walker are among those who will not feature.
But Sherwood insists it is niggling injuries, rather than any slight at either the Europa League or their opponents, that has led to such a measure.
“We respect the tournament, we have come this far and we want to continue and progress in the competition,” Sherwood said, as he attempts to build on successive Premier League victories, against Everton and Newcastle.
“The players we have left at home are the players who are injured and would not be fit to play in the team. We hope they will be fit for Sunday (against Norwich).
“We will probably have a minimum of eight internationals in the team, six of which you will probably see at the World Cup.
“It is the only cup competition we are left in and we have enough players in our squad to compete in both competitions and that is what we intend to do.”
With the game in Dnipro taking place against the backdrop of unrest in Kiev, Sherwood does not want to let the events affect his players and their goals.
“We are just concentrating on playing football and getting the game out of the way,” he added.
“It is never great to see scenes of violence in any country at any time. It is not something we concentrate on.”