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FORWARD THINKING

Posted on 8 December 2006  - 12:00

You could excuse Martin Jol if he wanted a comfortable ride against Charlton on Saturday after recent meetings against the Addicks - not that he expects one.

You could excuse Martin Jol if he wanted a comfortable ride against Charlton on Saturday after recent meetings against the Addicks - not that he expects one.Turn the clock back to November 2004 and the team from south London provided the first opposition for Martin having taken over at the Club. And what a first match - Charlton were 3-0 up at the break before a stirring comeback almost pulled a draw out of the fire as we went down 3-2.

We suffered a 2-0 loss at the Valley in March 2005 and things didn’t look good when we crossed the river in October 2005 as we slipped 2-0 down again. However, this time we hit back via Ledley King, Mido and Robbie Keane - a memorable victory in what turned out to be a memorable season.

Speaking at Spurs Lodge on Friday, Martin reflected: “I can remember the game last season when we were 2-0 down at Charlton and came back to beat them 3-2, an important win for us at that time.

“Charlton have many fine players like Darren Bent up front, he’s quick, he runs the channels and works tirelessly.

“Andy Reid is also there, of course. He’s one of their best players now alongside Bent and he can get the ball in the hole behind the midfield, play little through balls and has a good shot.

“Everyone knew he could play and he didn’t have the best luck with injuries. He was a terrific lad as well, great with the lads and hopefully he’ll stay fit at Charlton and he will then fulfil all their expectations.”

Meanwhile, Martin could not hide his displeasure at suggestions that he had questioned the ability of the Club’s regular goalscorer Jermain Defoe.

He added: “I am irritated about the fact my comments have been taken completely out of context.

“Robbie picked up an injury in the game against Middlesbrough which is disappointing as it means we lose an impact player. However, it is situations like this that demonstrate the value of us having four top quality strikers, all of whom contribute different skills to the team game.

“Often the contribution a striker makes to a game is with assists, positioning, clever passing and creating goalscoring opportunities.

“I always select my team based on which players I feel are best suited for that particular game and the opposition.”