Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was a relieved figure after his side’s 3-2 defeat by Young Boys in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.
Spurs were 3-0 down inside 28 minutes before Sebastien Bassong and Roman Pavlyuchenko reduced the deficit to keep alive their chances of reaching the Champions League for the first time.
“It was a great defeat – if there is such a thing,” said Redknapp.
“At 3-0 down, we were staring down the barrel. We were in desperate trouble. We were all over the show.
“From the first minute, we started sloppily, they hit the post and it went on.
“They didn’t give us time to settle on the ball. They ran all over us in the first half hour.”
Redknapp believes the artificial surface at the Stade de Suisse was a factor in his side’s poor performance.
“It’s not an excuse but I played on Astroturf myself and hated every minute of it,” he commented.
“We used to have it at QPR but we don’t have it anymore in England. I don’t agree with artificial turf and I don’t think it should be used in a competition like this.
“I left four players out because they weren’t comfortable on the pitch in training on Monday.
“Aaron Lennon wasn’t comfortable, Robbie [Keane] had a problem with his knee. The last time Tom Huddlestone played on artificial turf he was out for six weeks as his knee blew up like a balloon.
“I didn’t really want to risk Tom. It was a case that we were pretty desperate and I threw him on.”
Redknapp insisted his side would not underestimate their opponents, but believes the two away goals are a major bonus.
“Our plan is to get after them at White Hart Lane,” stated the Spurs manager. “It’ll be a fantastic crowd, great atmosphere and we’re at home.
“We have to win the game. If we win the game, we have a great chance to go through, obviously, with the two away goals.”
Young Boys’ Enfield-born defender Scott Sutter admitted the pitch had played a factor in the result.
Young Boys coach Vladimir Petkovic was disappointing to concede a second goal but was full of praise for the way his side performed.
“I’m very happy, very satisfied,” Petkovic said. “If, before the match, somebody had told me this would be the case, I would have been very happy.
“I’m very proud of the team, of the team spirit, of their interpretation of football and the team were very mentally strong.
“The first 30 to 35 minutes, we were very good – perfect. We played tactically very well and we had some very dangerous movements.
“It was difficult to keep the rhythm for the 90 minutes. Their second goal shouldn’t have been made but I’m still very proud of the team.”