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Pienaar puts loss on Spurs players

Tottenham midfielder Steven Pienaar said Spurs’ 2-1 Europa League defeat to PAOK on Wednesday was the players’ responsibility.

The north London side were two goals down within 15 minutes at White Hart Lane, and while Luka Modric scored from the penalty spot, Spurs were unable to overturn the early deficit.

Harry Redknapp’s side are third in Group A and face an uphill task to qualify for the round of 32, with Pienaar conceding Spurs’ poor start to the game may have cost them a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Pienaar told the club’s official website: “The poor start was down to us. When you start a game you have to start sharp, we weren’t sharp enough. We had a few opportunities but their defence was outstanding, even though we were camping in their half.”

“If you start the game so poorly, you’re always going to be chasing. I think we have to compliment PAOK, they were well organised, but we had some good chances. But if you don’t take your chances, you always end up losing the game.”

The 29-year-old sustained a groin injury in pre-season which has limited his playing time so far this season, however he feels his fitness is improving.

“It’s getting better every day, I was a bit stiff at half-time but I’m happy to get minutes on the pitch,” the South Africa international said.

Thu 1 December, 2011
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