• Europa League

Holtby: Spurs not reliant on Bale

ESPN staff
February 12, 2013

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Tottenham's Lewis Holtby has declared his new club are Europa League contenders and believes the team's unity will be the major factor behind a successful run at the title.

Morale is high at the club after a remarkable unbeaten stretch - Tottenham have not tasted defeat since early December last year - that has them well placed to take a place in the Premier League's top four.

And with attention now turning to Europe's second-tier competition and the visit of Lyon this Thursday, Holtby is confident the London club have the squad - and the belief - to reach the showpiece event.

"I played in the Europa League last season with Schalke. We went to the quarter-finals. But Tottenham are able to do big things," the 22-year-old said. "I'm not saying that if we don't get the Cup we'll be disappointed, but I think we have the team and squad to get that trophy and we're confident.

"It's a great team, the quality in the side throughout the players, even the guys who didn't make it into the squad against Newcastle, is fantastic.

"The team spirit is very high, that's why we win these tight games. It's fantastic to be here."

However, after scoring four goals in his last three games and, along the way, becoming the club's most prolific striker, the notion has arisen Tottenham are too reliant on Welsh wizard Gareth Bale

Bale's two goals against Newcastle on Saturday assured three points at home while Bale's amazing power-drive against West Brom secured a tough 1-0 away victory the weekend before.

But Holtby dismissed the notion Tottenham were a one-man band, pointing out it was his team-mates who create the opportunity for Bale to strike.

"Gareth is a world-class player, one of the best in the world I think. What he is producing week in week out is fantastic," Holtby said. "But you have to give the credit to the others in what is a great team.

"You see Hugo Lloris in goal. The defenders put their bodies into every shot. Everyone is working really hard, that's the key of the game. To have a player like Bale makes the difference."

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