Centre back Woodgate has Euro vision for Redknapp's in-form Spurs
16 March 2009 11:51
Jonathan Woodgate is confident Tottenham can make a late push for a European place after Harry Redknapp's men finally learned how to win ugly.
Some of Spurs' attacking play in their 2-1 victory at Aston Villa was excellent, but it was their ability to dig in when Villa were on top that pleased defender Woodgate.
Spurs are only four points adrift of seventh place - ahead of West Ham's match with West Brom - which will almost certainly be good enough to secure a spot in next season's revamped Europa League.
After losing seven consecutive away matches in all competitions between December 21 and February 19, Spurs have now collected seven points from their last three fixtures away from White Hart Lane, and are unbeaten in five Premier League matches.
When asked about a push for Europe, centre-back Woodgate said: 'I would rather be an optimist than a pessimist, and I would rather look up than look down. We've got a chance, but let's not get carried away.'
Spurs struck an early blow when Brad Friedel could only palm Aaron Lennon's cross-shot into the path of Jermaine Jenas, who headed the visitors into a fifth-minute lead.
A tactical substitution in the first half proved pivotal to Spurs. With Ashley Young running riot against Didier Zokora on the Villa left, Redknapp decided to haul off his makeshift right-back after only 36 minutes and send on Vedran Corluka to shackle Young.
The move worked, as Young's influence waned steadily, as did Villa's attacking threat. Five minutes into the second half, Friedel could only push Wilson Palacios's low shot into the path of Robbie Keane, who steered the ball across the goal line for Bent to apply the decisive touch.
Substitute John Carew pulled a late goal back for Villa, but Spurs were much the better team in the second period.
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