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Tottenham toast Defoe's efficiency

Friday 9 November 2012 8.16 CET
Jermain Defoe completes his hat-trick against Maribor

Unusually for a match that could prove pivotal in qualification for the UEFA Europa League last 32, both Tottenham Hotspur FC and NK Maribor appeared quietly content with their efforts after the London side won 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone and Jan Vertonghen were satisfied with a strong performance to enhance their prospects, while Maribor captain Tavares and goalscorer Robert Berić remained convinced the Slovenian champions can qualify – and promised to "give everything" to do so.

Tom Huddlestone, Tottenham midfielder
Over 90 minutes, it was probably our best performance of the season. We started fast and got the early goal, which probably settled everybody down a bit, and then we could play our football. We know as midfielders and wingers that if we give [Jermain Defoe] chances he'll put at least one of them in the net. Tonight, I think he had four chances and scored three of them, which shows what a great player he is. We've put it back in our own hands and that was the objective before tonight.

Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham defender
It was a very good performance. We pressed them like we wanted to, with two up front, and I think we did well. The goal [that we conceded] was a pity, but we never panicked and we kept playing our game. We had good possession and it was a good win, I think.

Tavares, Maribor forward
It's certainly disappointing. In the first half we played very well, and defended well, but we conceded the second goal very quickly in the second half and that made it very difficult for us to get a result. It's true that Robert's goal gave the team confidence and made us play better. Tottenham are a big team and were the favourites, but at Maribor we believe in ourselves so 3-1 away from home isn't a great result. We still have a chance of qualifying and we'll give everything to do it.

Robert Berić, Maribor forward
The game was hard. Tottenham showed us that they were too strong for us. We still have a chance so we will give everything to qualify. In Slovenia, against Lazio, we have a chance, but we think we have a good chance going to Panathinaikos too. Of course I enjoyed my goal. It was like [Fernando] Torres's goal [for Chelsea FC] yesterday, but we lost, so it's not quite as great.

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