Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp revealed Brazilian Gilberto's time at White Hart Lane was about to be over following their 2-2 draw against Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Cup. The result meant Spurs go into Friday's draw for the two-leg, Round of 32 matches scheduled for next February.
It was Gilberto's error which conceded the first goal for Spartak, though strikes by Luka Modric and Tom Huddlestone earned the north Londoners the draw they needed to progress. "He (Gilberto) was quite happy to come off," Redknapp said. "There's not really a way back for him here. The boy doesn't want to play here. He's a nice guy but just doesn't feel confident playing here."
The comeback meant Spurs finished second in Group D and earn a clash against a Champions League drop-out in the next round. "We gave two bad goals away, we played that badly," Redknapp said. "It gave them a lift and they suddenly looked dangerous but we showed character to get back at them."
Redknapp had huge selection problems as Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka were cup-tied, with Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent among the players sidelined. There are now concerns over Modric's tight hamstring and Aaron Lennon's groin ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash at Newcastle this weekend.
"My plan was to take Modric off at half-time and now he's ended up with a tight hamstring," Redknapp said. "Lennon has a tight groin and they could be struggling for the weekend."
Despite Europe not being his priority, Redknapp added: "I would have been bothered if we went out because I don't want to lose, I just put the best team out I could. The UEFA Cup is now on the backburner."
Spartak coach Michael Laudrup said: "A 2-2 draw is a good result, it was not enough but we did very well in the first half. It was difficult in the second half due to the high rhythm of Spurs. We didn't lose qualification from this game, it was when we lost against NEC. I told the players that everyone is saying it is impossible to win here and they said that last year - and we won.
"Our players looked tired in the last half an hour. We could only make three changes and they were not used to the rhythm of the game. We knew what type of game it would be, the only thing was Lennon not starting. Tactically we knew the game of Tottenham."