Bale doubt for Milan trip

Tottenham head for the San Siro on Tuesday night on the back of

three successive Premier League victories after Saturday evening’s

2-1 win at Sunderland. Rafael van der Vaart, who missed the game at

the Stadium of Light with a calf injury, should be fit. But Bale,

despite recovering well from his back problem, is unlikely to make

the trip. Redknapp said: “Gareth is not too far away. He’s not

going to be fit, I don’t think, for Tuesday, but he’s not too bad.

“The specialists have seen it, he’s had an epidural injection.

Peter Crouch has had the same problem and he is fine – in fact, his

back looked a lot worse on the scan. “He shouldn’t be too long, but

Tuesday may be just a bit too soon for him. But van der Vaart

should be okay. “You saw what Gareth did against Inter Milan, when

he terrorised them, really, and that would be in their minds an

awful lot, I’m sure, if you asked them. “Everybody in Italy talks

about Bale – I went over and watched a game and everyone was asking

me: ‘Is Bale fit? Is Bale fit?’. “He would scare them to death, for

sure.” Spurs had to come from behind to beat the Black Cats, who

took an 11th-minute lead when, with William Gallas off the pitch

changing his boots, record signing Asamoah Gyan span expertly on

Kieran Richardson’s low cross and fired past Heurelho Gomes for his

10th goal of the season. Redknapp said: “I was upset about it and I

told William at half-time. “He had had an injection in his ankle

before the game and they bandaged his ankle maybe too tight and he

was in a lot of pain. He felt his boots were too tight on him.

“It’s a changing game. If I tell you some of the players have 40 or

50 pairs of boots now at the training ground – you used to get two

pairs at the start of the year and that was it, didn’t you? “But

now, you have never seen so many boots, yellow, pink, green,

whatever they are. “His boots were hurting his foot, so he had to

change his boots.” The lead lasted until the 44th minute when

Michael Dawson was allowed to meet Steven Pienaar’s corner in front

of goal and with Gallas blocking keeper Craig Gordon’s view, the

ball ended up in the back of the net. The winner came 12 minutes

after the break as Kranjcar once again produced something special

after his winning effort against Bolton last weekend. He latched on

to John Mensah’s clearing header to thump a right-foot volley past

Gordon and into the bottom corner to ease Spurs ahead of Chelsea in

the race for a top-four finish. Redknapp said: “It’s wide open

still. It is going to be tight, it’s going to be tough. Obviously

they are a top side, but we got fourth place last year and we are

right in there. “There are six teams, I think, in the race –

Liverpool are the other team. Ourselves and Liverpool are pushing.

“It’s not impossible for them. They have been on a good run and

they are getting themselves in there, so there are six teams and we

are certainly right in there with every chance.” The result came as

a fresh disappointment to opposite number Steve Bruce, who suffered

a third consecutive league defeat for the first time in his reign

on Wearside. He said: “The frustration is the manner of the first

goal, which changed the game. It put us on the back foot again. “It

was a simple set-piece – it wasn’t even a great delivery and we

didn’t do our job properly again. “Titus [Bramble] switched off and

gave the fella a free header and for me, the goalkeeper has to do

better also.”