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Ramon's inside info

Posted on 6 August 2010  - 12:00

Former defender Ramon Vega believes his fellow countrymen BSC Young Boys will provide a stern test in our Champions League Play-Off with them later this month.

Ramon's inside info

Former defender Ramon Vega believes his fellow countrymen BSC Young Boys will provide a stern test in our Champions League Play-Off with them later this month.

Who better to speak to than the former Swiss international, who made 84 appearances in our colours between 1997 and 2000, for a bit of inside information on the men from Bern?

Ramon points towards the current Swiss national team's defeat of eventual champions Spain in this summer's World Cup as an indication as to how strong the game in his home country currently is.

And after Young Boys' impressive defeat of Turkish giants Fenerbahce in the previous round of the competition, he feels Vladimir Pletkovic's side should be shown a great deal of respect.

However, the former White Hart Lane centre-half - part of our 1999 League Cup-winning side - is confident Harry Redknapp's men have the quality to prevail.

"It's certainly no easy hurdle," Ramon told us, "Swiss football is not to be underestimated as we showed at the World Cup by being the only team to beat Spain.

"Young Boys are not a bad side and have a very good striker in Henri Bienvenu. Spurs will be the favourites but a lot will depend on the first leg in Bern.

"No way will it be easy. They are absolutely no pushover at all. The days of pushovers in European football are long gone.

"Either team can win or lose, but Spurs do have the better squad in terms of individual players. However, they must not underestimate these guys."

Another challenge that we could face when we make the trip to Switzerland for the first leg of the tie on Tuesday August 17 is the artificial pitch Young Boys play on at the Stade de Suisse.

But Ramon has been quick to play down the impact this could have on the game, saying: "The material is as close to grass as you can get without it actually being grass.

"It's a new stadium, the national team plays there, and I remember playing in the old stadium, and when it rained, the pitch would be ruined.

"That certainly won't be the case these days and you will be guaranteed a good playing surface."

Finally, Ramon already senses the excitement of such an important tie back in his home capital city, adding: "Swiss supporters are not renowned for being the craziest - more for being civilised! But a big team like Spurs is coming and it will be massive for them and they will be hoping their team can spring a big surprise."