Pavlyuchenko wants Europa win

Spurs enjoyed a remarkable debut season in the Champions League
this season, beating both Milan giants before losing to Real Madrid
in the quarter-finals. But the European run took its toll on the
club in the Premier League, where their poor form in the last
quarter of the season saw them finish outside the top four.
Pavlyuchenko, whose double against Birmingham on Sunday secured
fifth place, is confident about Spurs’ chances of winning the
Europa League and insists they should not be too disappointed to be
in it. “Our club is quite able to win the Europa League next year,”
Pavlyuchenko told Sport Express. “We have a very good team, and we
could still have reinforcements. “As for the fifth place, we took a
step back compared to last year, without getting into the Champions
League, but it’s still better than sixth. “We lost too many points
in the end but the whole season should not be called a failure. “We
should not forget that we played in Europe’s premier club
tournament, and reached the quarter-finals.” Tottenham manager
Harry Redknapp has never hidden his dislike of the Europa League,
constantly referring to it as a second-rate competition where teams
are more likely to play their reserves. Jermain Defoe has also
labelled the tournament a “distraction”, but Michael Dawson thinks
the squad should give embrace the opportunity to add some European
silverware to the White Hart Lane trophy cabinet. “We wanted to be
in the Champions League but it hasn’t happened and when the Europa
League starts we will be going out there to win it,” Dawson said.
“It’s another competition for the fans. The ground, whether it’s
the Champions League or the Europa League, will be sold out every
week.” Had Tottenham not beaten Birmingham last week they could
have faced the prospect of qualifying for the Europa League via the
fair play league. That would have involved going through three
rounds of playoffs – the first of which takes place on June 30.
Dawson was keen to avoid such an early return to action. “That was
the last thing that any player or member of staff wanted,” the
defender said. “We knew we had to finish fifth so it’s a massive
relief to have done it.” Redknapp says achieving fourth place in
the Premier League next year will be the club’s priority and admits
a number of Spurs’ youngsters will be involved in the European
campaign. “Maybe it will give us a chance to play some of the
younger players. The Premier League will be all-important to us
next year,” Redknapp said. One young player Redknapp has been
impressed with this year is Danny Rose. The 20-year-old, who
started his Tottenham career as a winger, spent the first half of
the season on loan at Bristol City before capitalising on Benoit
Assou-Ekotto’s hamstring injury to become the first-choice
left-back for the last four games of the campaign. “Benoit’s a
top-class player but Danny has done well,” Redknapp said. “I have
always said to him that he could be a top, top left-back. That’s
where he plays best. He has got a low centre of gravity, he’s
quick, he’s aggressive and has a great left foot. “He is a real
left-back in my opinion and there will be a big competition between
him and Benoit for that position next year.”