NATCHO, NATCHO MAN: Spurs sunk in Russia

RUBIN KAZAN (1) vs TOTTENHAM (0)

TOTTENHAM defender Sebastien Bassong apologised for his mistake which cost his side a vital Europa League point in the absence of his recovering manager Harry Redknapp.

The Spurs chief returned home after being released from hospital last night following minor heart surgery on Wednesday.

But Redknapp’s spirits would not have been lifted by the sight of the Cameroon defender attempting to dribble his way out of trouble, only to concede the free-kick from which Natcho struck the only goal of a dour encounter.

Bassong, who before the match had talked of his desire to quit the White Hart Lane club, said: “What can I say? I told the lads: ‘Sorry, I should have cleared it. I’m sorry’.

“It’s simple. I should have cleared the ball and I took an extra touch, an extra bad touch. I didn’t see him coming and when I found out it was too late because I had a bad touch.

“I was praying it wouldn’t be a goal but it was.”

Redknapp selected the team and opted to go with a blend of youth and experience. Sadly, of his senior players, only goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini performed to his usual high standard.

The Italian made a series of excellent saves, but was finally beaten in the 55th minute when Natcho’s perfect free-kick left him stranded.