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David Pleat's programme notes v Bolton

Posted on 21 October 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

A teatime Sunday affair against Bolton today will attract a full house. This may be a slightly surprising statistic - and obviously I mean no disrespect to Bolton here - but is indicative of the progress of the team and the faith our supporters have in this current season.

If we continue to play with the same commitment that we showed at Blackburn then we will, for sure, win games. I have not seen for a long time a situation where a Tottenham side, drawing away from home in the last minute, arrived in the opposition penalty box with four individuals looking to score the winning goal. Fortunately for us, Jamie's 'miss-hit' effort crowned this brave philosophy.

Now we have to try to maximise that result to stay in the leading pack with an early season cushion.

Sky have taken our attractive League Cup tie at Burnley and the Turf Moor side will provide stern opposition. They have a nice balance of experience and youth and a wide player who has the ability to destroy defences when in form.

One of our youngsters has now won some European acclaim with his performance in a tremendous Welsh effort against Italy. Since arriving from Peterborough, Simon Davies has listened carefully, worked hard and has kept his feet firmly on the ground.

He has the gift of arriving in the penalty box to take half chances with runs from midfield, a valuable asset in any era of football. Martin Peters won distinction for it and, in the modern game, Simon could well rival Paul Scholes in this art.

Spare a thought at the moment for a couple of our major injuries. We have seen very little of Neil Sullivan at the training ground since he broke his finger and it must be an awful time for him having to sit and watch, particularly as Scotland seem to have an ongoing goalkeeping problem. Of course, Kasey Keller has done well in Neil's absence but we are all looking forward to the rivalry being renewed.

At present, Lars Hirschfeld, who coped well with the Scotland attack in Edinburgh last Wednesday night in goal for Canada, is patiently awaiting his senior debut here.

Another long-term injury happened in an innocuous friendly at Spurs Lodge with Charlton Athletic when young Paul O'Donoghue, one of our very promising young central defenders, fractured his jaw and will be out for some time. We hope that he makes a speedy recovery.

It has been a busy time on the 'loan' front. Currently Gavin Kelly at Kettering and Shwan Jalal at Woking hold the dubious distinction of keeping goal for the two teams at the base of the Conference.

In Scotland yesterday we were hoping that Steven Ferguson played a full game for Motherwell against Glasgow Rangers. John Jackson is finding it difficult in a losing environment at Swindon and John Sutton has recently joined Carlisle where things are also not easy in terms of results.

These moves can tell us much about a young player's development and whether they can cope with difficult situations. We are consistently monitoring all our young players. One of the many jobs that I have to do in the next few weeks is to look at our contract expiration situation at the end of this season. Thirteen of our younger players have contracts expiring so they are continually under pressure and I am involved in the judgement of discussing new contracts with some of these players now or waiting and continuing to assess.

It was super to see that wonderful ambassador Jürgen Klinsmann back at Tottenham in midweek and helping to attract such a good crowd here on the night after an Academy fund raising dinner where Jürgen was the main guest. In the game against D.C. United the warmth of support for the Tottenham tradition was there for all to see and the principal of this game, under the auspices of the Tottenham Trust, to help players who have fallen on hard times and who, at one time or another, gave service to the Club either on or off the field.

Finally, I know how difficult it can be for players when supporters have abused their creed or colour. We at Tottenham are 100% opposed to any form of racism from the stands. We all believe that it is a disgraceful trait and that all players should be treated similarly and with respect, irrespective of their backgrounds. We hope that Tottenham supporters will continue to be respectful and show decency when opposition players appear at our ground, no matter which team or country they represent.

At present our supporters stand second in the 'Fair Play' Barclaycard 'Behaviour of the Public' award for 2002-03. We all hope this continues.

Enjoy the game.