Ramos relishing Spurs reunion
Juande Ramos has no problem shaking hands with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy when he welcomes his former employers to current club Dnipro on Thursday evening.
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The Spaniard lasted just under a year as Spurs boss between 2007 and 2008, sacked with the club bottom of the Barclays Premier League after taking just two points from their opening eight leagues games of the campaign.
Levy had rubber-stamped the sale of several members of Ramos' first-team squad before the transfer deadline and, with Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane sold to rivals Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, Ramos was left with a weakened squad.
No like-for-like replacements were signed and, following a poor start, Ramos was dismissed just eight months after delivering the League Cup - Tottenham's first trophy since 1999 and their last to date.
After adding spells at Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow to his credentials, Ramos is now at the helm of Ukrainian Premier League outfit Dnipro.
They welcome Spurs on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie, with Ramos willing to be civil to Levy - even if he still hints that he has not forgotten what happened.
He said: "Of course I would shake hands - not only with him, but I have good relations with all of the managerial staff of Tottenham.
"I'm sure that all chairmen and the leaders of teams do what they have to do to take care of their teams.
"He has done a lot, he was able to sell Berbatov for £35million and Robbie Keane for £17million and some other players, he has done a lot in ruling the team."
Ramos cites the 2008 extra-time League Cup final success over Chelsea as his favourite memory of his time at White Hart Lane and believes current Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood has a talented crop of players to chose from when they meet at the Dnipro Arena.
He said: "I'm really happy that I helped and was of assistance for Tottenham to win their last trophy.
"The best memory of Tottenham was of course the trophy we won after a long period, it was really nice to win it.
"Tomorrow, Tottenham will have 11 players on the pitch and seven on the bench and all of those players have high ability and the team is very serious - we have to take that factor into consideration.
"Concerning the game tomorrow it will be 11 v 11 on the pitch and the rivalry will be quite even and we will do our best.
"I have to emphasise that the budgets are really different, in Tottenham and in Dnipro. In Tottenham it is three or four times larger and they can afford buying such players as Roberto Soldado - so the budget of Tottenham is £30-£40million for a player."
Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka is likely to start and will line up for his first competitive match since a January move to Liverpool broke down.
The 24-year-old looked set for a move to the Premier League in the final days of the transfer window but, despite Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spending three days in Dnipropetrovsk, negotiations failed to bring the desired result and Konoplyanka remains a Dnipro player.
The Ukraine international is now keen for the clash with Tottenham not to become an audition piece for a summer move to England as he looks to bring success to his current club.
"Everything that happened is in the past," Konoplyanka said.
"There is a good saying, 'everything is for the best' - all we have to do is concentrate on the game for tomorrow, that is all.
"It doesn't influence my game tomorrow and if the coach finds it possible to put me in the team I will do all I can - all I have to think about is that game.
"It is a good chance for any player to play against a team like that. It is a better motivation for us to play tomorrow and do our best."