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1st leg vital - Gomes

Posted on 19 February 2009  - 12:00

Heurelho Gomes feels the key to our UEFA Cup last 32 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk lies in tonight's (Thursday) first leg in the Ukraine.

1st leg vital - Gomes

Heurelho Gomes feels the key to our UEFA Cup last 32 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk lies in tonight's (Thursday) first leg in the Ukraine.

The home side are fifth in the Ukraine Premier League having lost only twice and managed to win three of their six games in the group stages of the Champions League only to finish third behind Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon.

They remain the only side to win at Barca's Nou Camp all season.

It's the first time we've come up against Ukrainian opposition and it's the same for Gomes, despite his wealth of European experience at PSV.

Neverthless, he knows exactly what we're up against. "I know they are very good, especially strong at home, with technically good players. It will be a very difficult game for us.

"It's a massive game for us because when a tie is over two legs, it's so important to do well in the first leg.

"When we're at home it's easier because the fans are right behind us and they push us so much. So we aim to do a good job in this first match."

The first leg signals a return for the goalkeeper with Carlo Cudicini one of a number of players rested as we enter a busy schedule of six games in 17 days in three different competitions.

Gomes has been out for the last three games as he first recovered from a thigh injury and then found himself on the bench with Carlo starting against Arsenal.

"I'm fit and looking forward to it," he said.

"I played with the injury because the team needed me and I wanted to help. I've now missed a couple of games and it's been good for me because when you play with an injury you don't play at 100 per cent and it's difficult, but now I'm okay."

Tickets for the second leg at White Hart Lane on Thursday week, February 26, are on general sale. CLICK HERE TO BUY ONLINE...