Redknapp hopeful over Bale fitness for Madrid

WIGAN, April 3, 2011 (AFP) - Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is hopeful Gareth Bale will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

Bale was sorely missed as Spurs were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday, but Redknapp is confident the Wales winger will recover from a hamstring injury in time to feature in Spain on Tuesday.

While Bale may return to face Jose Mourinho's side, Redknapp is likely to be be without French defender William Gallas, who also missed the Wigan match due to a hamstring injury.

Redknapp said: "Gareth is okay, he has got a chance. He should be fit for the game.

"As for Gallas he is struggling. Unless there is a big improvement in his knee I doubt if he will be fit."

Aaron Lennon will be fit to feature in Madrid after he came on in the second half against Wigan and Redknapp revealed the England winger will form a key part of his game-plan.

"We are going to need pace in wide positions if we plan to hit Real Madrid on the counter-attack. That is what we have been doing all season in Europe," Redknapp said.

"I felt when Lennon came on we perked up. He caused them problems then we gave the ball away again."

Redknapp knows Tottenham will have to improve significantly from the lacklustre effort against Wigan - a display which left them struggling to catch fourth placed Manchester City in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"It is very difficult to win matches in this division. West Brom beat Liverpool, Chelsea couldn't win at Stoke and West Ham were beating Manchester United for most of the game," Redknapp said.

"We did not play well. That is not the way we normally play. It was one of those days.

"I am sure the Real Madrid scout has gone home scared stiff. I did not enjoy the game at all.

"It was an attacking team but we didn't really get hold of the ball and we weren't clever enough in the box. We normally pass the ball better."

The best chance of the game fell to Wigan substitute Connor Sammon with two minutes left after he was set up by Mohamed Diame, who also came off the bench.

However, the former Kilmarnock striker saw his close-range effort beaten away by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Roberto Martinez refused to be downhearted about Wigan's position at the foot of the table even though the team's next three games are all on the road.

"I could not be more proud of my players than I am today. We showed how much we have improved and how far we have come," Latics boss Martinez said.

"I felt that off the ball we were outstanding. My players were tactically fantastic.

"It was just a pity that we couldn't get the goal that would have given us the three points this performance deserved. It is a also a shame the season is not starting now for us."

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