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Dembele: We can win without Bale

Mousa Dembele is confident Gareth Bale's ankle injury will not derail Tottenham's hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League.

• Preview: Tottenham v Everton
• Blog: Reflecting on Basel

Bale, 23, was ruled out of action for two weeks after suffering ligament damage in Spurs' Europa League draw with Basel on Thursday, keeping him sidelined for the return leg in Switzerland next week and Sunday's crucial league clash with Everton.

Tottenham sit in third place, just two points clear of Chelsea, although sixth-placed Everton are still in with a shot of finishing in the top four.

Bale has scored 17 goals for Spurs this season, but team-mate Dembele believes his side have the depth to cover the Welshman's absence.

"Can we make the top four without Gaz? Yes, of course we can," he said. "There are other good players who play well. He has been very important for us but other players have to step up now."

That depth up front will be tested in the coming weeks with winger Aaron Lennon also under an injury cloud following Thursday's match, but Dembele has backed Clint Dempsey to fill the void left by Bale and Lennon.

"Everybody knows they are two very important players for us so it's another big disappointment," he said. "But I think we have a big, good squad and we have to concentrate on beating Everton now.

"Clint is one of the players I was talking about. I remember from my time at Fulham he was very important so I know what he can do. He can score important goals as well. He has just come back from injury but before that he was showing some good form. That's the reason I have confidence, but there are other players as well."

The injuries give midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson an opportunity to prove himself and he believes Tottenham's fringe players can step up.

"If we are missing Gareth for a couple of games it is ahuge loss," Sigurdsson said. "But there are many players on the bench who are hungry to come in and do well.

"When someone gets injured then someone has to step up and fill his place. It will not be easy with Gareth because of how well he has been doing this year, but someone needs to come in and do well.

"I think I am back to my best now even though I am not playing in my favourite position. I am playing on the wing, but I am happy so long as I am playing. If you get a few successive games you are going to get in to your stride and you get more confidence and then you can push on."


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