Spurs star targets winning start to 2011 against Fulham

SEBASTIEN Bassong is urging his Spurs team-mates to start 2011 the way they mean to continue – with a home win over Fulham on New Year’s Day.

Tottenham host Mark Hughes’ Cottagers on Saturday and Bassong admits that nothing less than victory will suffice as the race for the top four intensifies.

“It’s going to be the new year and if we’re going to start 2011 it’s going to be really important to win and to keep going like that,” said Bassong. “We’re on a run of good results after Chelsea, Villa and now Newcastle, and if we want to be in the top four at the end of the season we’ve got to carry on like that. There’s no other way to do it.

“The home games are really important, we simply have to win them, there’s no other option. Fulham are going to come here on Saturday and it’s going to be a London derby so it’s going to be a good game.

“Like last year, we believe in ourselves because we know we’ve got a really good squad. We’re showing our character and quality to make sure that nothing can make us go backward and stop us from reaching the top four. The only way to do that is by winning games. I don’t care who the top four is this season, I just want Tottenham to be there, that’s it.”

Bassong, who started on the bench against his former team Newcastle but replaced Younes Kaboul when the Frenchman was sent off in the second half, insists he is happy with his role in the squad.

And the 24-year-old was particularly pleased to play his part in a rare clean sheet for Harry Redknapp’s side.

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“With our squad, it’s in and out. It’s up to the manager,” said Bassong. “I’ve been playing the last five games or so, then I was dropped, now I’m in again. That’s how it works. We’re in a big team, we’ve got to accept that and accept the competition.

“It was a tough victory, I think this one was really important, coming two days after the last one on Boxing Day. We went down to 10 men again, we showed a lot of character and we were really strong, so I think we deserved to win.

“The clean sheet is really important for us, especially for a defender - not conceding a goal at home makes us full of confidence. We’re an attacking team, we’re attacking a lot and sometimes for a defender it’s quite hard because all the players are going to attack so we’ve got to sort all the problems out.

“At the end of the game if we win the game we just forget about conceding goals, but I think it’s a very good thing to not concede.

“I was a bit sensitive about playing against my old team but I was happy to get the chance to play against them on the pitch and thankfully we won so it’s a lot better.”