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Clint eyes Europa redemption with Spurs

CLINT DEMPSEY hopes to make up for his Europa League heartbreak with Fulham by lifting the trophy with Tottenham.

Dempsey wrote himself into Fulham folklore in March 2010 when he came off the bench at Craven Cottage and scored a delightful chip that sealed a shock win over Juventus in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The west London club started the competition that year back in July and came through 18 matches before succumbing to Atletico Madrid in the final.

Dempsey, who moved to Tottenham on transfer deadline day, cites the run as one of the highlights of his career, and he now hopes he can go one better with his new employers.

"It was tough for us to get all that way and not win the final," Dempsey said ahead of Spurs' clash against Panathinaikos tonight.

"We had luck then and we need that now, but we do have a lot of quality in this team.

"As long as everyone is working hard and focused, you always have a chance. And with the quality we have, I can't see why we can't go all the way and win it."

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, who won the competition with Porto two seasons ago, said yesterday that he was baffled as to why the Europa League is not given more respect.

Former boss Harry Redknapp described participating in the tournament as a "punishment", but Dempsey thinks it deserves more recognition.

"The prestige is there," the United States forward added.

"You get to play against some of best clubs in Europe. That's why we are all excited about the possibility of doing something special."

Spurs were unfortunate to draw their Group J opener against Lazio last month, but they are big favourites to take all three points from this evening's clash in the Greek capital.

Panathinaikos have won 20 Greek titles in their 104-year history, but they have found life tough of late, thanks mainly to several transfer flops and the Greek economic crisis.

3PANATHINAIKOS v TOTTENHAM, 3e, KO 6.0


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