Jordan plays down Brit rivalry

The ‘Battle of Britain’ tag is bound to be utilised extensively in

the run-up to the first leg clash which takes place at Tynecastle

on August 18. However, Jordan , now assistant to Harry Redknapp at

White Hart Lane, does not believe the players will get caught up

too much in the historical cross-border rivalry. “Hearts have a

good contingent of foreign players and so do we,” the former Hearts

boss said. “So that (Scotland v England) aspect will be with the

supporters, that’s how they will look at it, they will enjoy that

and it will give the tie some added spice. “But the players have

played all over the world and it will be all about winning the tie

and going through to the next round.” While debate continues down

south as to the merits of European club football’s second-tier

competition, Jordan insists Spurs will be taking the tie seriously.

“You can’t predict what is going to happen but certainly we will

play the strongest team that we can,” he said. “We played over 10

months to get into the competition.” Regardless of which side

Redknapp decides to bring to Edinburgh, Tynecastle will be a

sell-out for a tie that has already caught the imagination of the

Scottish public. The Gorgie ground is generally accepted to provide

one of the best atmospheres in Scottish football but Jordan insists

the Tottenham players will not be fazed. “Tynecastle is very

similar to White Hart Lane,” the former Leeds and Manchester United

player said. “They are two traditional and compact stadiums which

have been in the same place for years although they both have been

upgraded. So in that respect there is a lot in common. “But our

players play in big stadiums all over Europe so that won’t be a

problem.” Hearts booked their play-off place with a win over

Hungarian side Paks last night under their new manager Paulo

Sergio. The Portuguese coach was appointed by the club’s majority

shareholder Vladimir Romanov earlier this week, following Jim

Jefferies’ departure and his players will have the advantage of

playing more competitive games than their Spurs counterparts before

the first leg. Jordan accepts that the Jambos will be further ahead

in terms of match fitness but does not concede that it will hamper

his side. “Our season hasn’t kicked off yet,” he said. “We play our

final preparation game tomorrow before we take on Everton in the

first game of the season on August 13. “Preparation has gone really

well but we have one or two injuries and we just hope they will be

okay for the Everton game. “Hearts will have played a number of

league games before we play them which is ideal for them but I’m

sure we will be okay.”