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Hearts 'a proper tie' - Kev

Kevin Bond insists we’re under no illusions as to the difficulty of our Europa League play-off against Hearts.

Kevin Bond insists we’re under no illusions as to the difficulty of our Europa League play-off against Hearts.

We were drawn against the team that finished third in the Scottish Premier League last season in the play-off over two legs on Thursday, August 18, when we travel to Edinburgh and back at the Lane a week later on August 25.

Hearts, who picked up a draw at champions Rangers in their SPL opener, cruised into the play-off thanks to a 5-1 aggregate win over Hungarian runners-up Paksi on Thursday.

“It will be a tough tie,” said Kevin. “This will be a proper game over two legs and in no way, shape or form will we underestimate the challenge.”

Kevin’s focus in the short-term is fixed on our final pre-season friendly against La Liga side Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday with the Premier League opener against Everton now just over a week away.

“I saw them play last season and they are unique in as much as they only sign players from that area (the Basque area of Spain) and that’s amazing when you think of the standard they are playing at,” said Kevin.

“They have a number of good players. Martinez in the middle of the park, has got into the national squad and captained the Under-21s and Llorente up front, a very well-regarded front man.

“We’re looking to get another step nearer in terms of match sharpness and focus going into the next week.”

Kevin revealed that Rafa van der Vaart is out of the friendly after picking up an ankle injury at Brighton last week.

However, Tom Huddlestone looks likely to figure after seeing a specialist about his ankle injury earlier in the week. “Tom has trained over the last couple of days and looked sharp,” said Kevin. “He’s in the squad.

“Rafa won’t be involved but he trained on Friday. He wasn’t with the main squad and instead underwent specific work, including ball work and we’ll keep our fingers cross for next week.

“Apart from that we’ve one or two knocks, but that’s about it.”

Sandro (knee), William Gallas (calf) and Ledley King (knee) remain sidelined.


You can watch Kevin interviewed in full plus the thoughts of Harry Redknapp on Athletic Bilbao and footage from training this week all on Spurs TV Online - CLICK HERE...


If you are outside the UK and Ireland, you can watch a live stream of Saturday's friendly against Athletic Bilbao on Spurs TV Online. Full details...CLICK HERE...