Harry Redknapp insists Heurelho Gomes still has a 'big future' at Tottenham after the third-choice stopper played a big part in helping Spurs beat Rubin Kazan.
Gomes was Redknapp's No 1 last season but has dropped down to third choice in the pecking order following the summer arrival of Brad Friedel on a free transfer.
Key man: Gomes under pressure from Rubin Kazan's Roman Sharonov at White Hart Lane
Gomes has been restricted to three starts so far this term, all of which have come in the cup competitions, and he has also had to endure the humiliation of being denied a place on the bench in Spurs' Barclays Premier League games, with Redknapp opting for Carlo Cudicini ahead of the Brazilian.
Despite this, Gomes, 30, put in a solid display in last night's Europa League win, keeping a clean sheet after a number of key saves - the best of which was a tip-over from Gokdeniz Karadeniz's close-range effort in the first half.
Gomes has been linked with a return to PSV Eindhoven, and a number of clubs in his homeland, but Redknapp wants to hold on to the player if despite admitting the Brazilian is open to a move from White Hart Lane.
'He still has a big future here,' Redknapp said. 'I would like to think he still has a great future here at Tottenham but he wants top play obviously and at the moment he is disappointed that Brad has come in and he is in the team, but Gomes is top class when he is on his game. He is a great goalkeeper. I was pleased for him.'
Pointing the way to success? Spurs boss Redknapp
The next time Gomes is likely to start a game is the club's away game in Kazan in two weeks' time. Thursday's win, which came courtesy of a thundering free-kick from Roman Pavlyuchenko, means Spurs are now two points clear of second-placed PAOK Salonika.
With the Premier League still his number one priority, Redknapp plans to field a severely weakened team for the club's trip to Russia.
'I will be taking a very, very young team out to Russia now for sure for the second game,' Redknapp added.
'I find the competition difficult to be honest. There are so many games, so much travelling and the league is our priority.'
From Russia with love: Roman Pavlyuchenko celebrates scoring his winner against Rubin Kazan
Rubin controlled large parts of the second half against a Spurs team that showed nine changes from Sunday's draw at Newcastle.
The Russian club's coach, Kurban Berdyev, was baffled at his side's failure to take something from the game.
'We did deserve a draw. We had enough chances to score,' he said.
'Tottenham played as we expected but we have to talk about the chances we had. We had more chances than we had even in Russian matches.'
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