Heurelho Gomes admits Tottenham Hotspur must become more disciplined in next week's second leg against Real Madrid, but has urged the club's fans not to blame Peter Crouch for last night's hammering at the Bernabeu.
Crouch saw red after just 15 minutes of yesterday's quarter-final first leg for two late sliding tackles in the Real half. It was the third time a Tottenham player had been sent off in the UEFA Champions League, with Gomes and Rafael van der Vaart having been shown red against Inter Milan and FC Twente respectively.
Gomes admits Crouch tackled like a "novice" in the match, but stressed that the squad and Spurs fans should not castigate a man who has scored seven times in Europe this year.
"In the second leg we need to be more careful. If you challenge like a novice at the start of the game, it is hard," Gomes said. "We need to think about it [our discipline] because it is not the first time. At half-time, Peter [Crouch] said sorry to everyone, but we do not blame him. It is not just his fault. He has been so important for us this season. We just need to move on now."
Gomes admits Tottenham have little chance of making the last four now, but he insists next Wednesday's second leg at White Hart Lane is a good opportunity to go out of the competition with a bang.
"It is going to be difficult for us to turn it around, but we have a chance," the goalkeeper said. "When you have a chance you need to believe straight away and keep going, but I think we are playing for pride."
Gomes also called on his team-mates to arrest their worrying slump in form by beating Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.
"We need to turn it up because we have to finish in the top four," Gomes said. "After the weekend, we will think about Madrid, but we need to turn up quickly because Stoke is a massive game for us."