Ferdinand: Spurs can compete in Champions League

Tottenham Hotspur coach Les Ferdinand insists the North London club have nothing to fear in their Champions League qualifying tie in August, although he believes Spurs will strengthen their squad over the close-season.

The White Hart Lane outfit will enter Europe’s premier club competition at the final qualifying stage, where they face a potentially tricky clash with the likes of Fenerbahce, Sampdoria or Dynamo Kiev.

But, speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo.com, the former England striker maintained that the other teams in Spurs’ qualifying pot would be wary of facing Harry Redknapp’s side.

“When you look at the pot of teams we could potentially be drawn against, there are a lot of very good teams there, but I think they’ll all be looking at Tottenham and saying exactly the same,” Ferdinand reasoned.

“It’d be a shame to get as far as we have and then go out at the first hurdle. We’ve got a quality squad with top players in every position.

“We got to where we did this season because of the quality of the squad we’ve got, but the manager will add to that and we’ll be even stronger next season. We don’t just want to get there once, we want to get there again and again and again.”

The former Newcastle, Spurs and QPR star is currently working as an consultant to Redknapp’s strikers, and also praised Russian forward Roman Pavlyuchenko.

The former Spartak Moscow man was frozen out of the Spurs first team during the first half of the season, but made a blistering return in February, coming off the bench to score two late goals at Wigan before embarking on a goalscoring run of six strikes in the following six games.

“He’s a tremendous goalscorer - we saw that in that spell a couple of months ago where he was scoring goals from all over the place. I think it was just a realisation that he had no divine right to be playing every week and that he needed to work hard to get back into the side.

“In the end he proved his worth and stayed in the team until the end of the season. When you’ve got a big squad with a lot of quality like we have then you’ve got to take your opportunities when they’re presented to you, and Roman has done that now.”

We spoke to Les Ferdinand over a pint of Greene King IPA. The Official Beer of England Rugby will be supporting the football boys in South Africa this summer. Get behind the team with a pint of Greene King IPA – the taste of England greenekingipa.co.uk

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