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George aware of City slickers

Posted on 30 October 2000  - 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).

George Graham is tipping Birmingham City for big things this season — and predicting a tough time for us at the Lane in the Worthington Cup on Tuesday night.

Trevor Francis’ side are currently third in Division One behind Watford and Fulham having lost just three games out of 15 so far this season. They picked up a point against in-form Portsmouth on Saturday — a match watched by our scouts.

Boss George revealed: “We had them watched at Portsmouth on Saturday where they got a good 1-1 draw.

“The report back was that they kept it very tight, didn’t really come out and play as much as they could have done, probably respecting Portsmouth’s recent run of good results. They went out there and were probably quite pleased with a draw.”

Of course, George knows all about Birmingham. He kick-started his professional career as a youngster at Aston Villa in the 1960s before moving onto Chelsea and then Arsenal.

“Birmingham is a big club,” he stated. “I lived in Birmingham early in my career as a player so I know how big the city is and how big the club can be.

“They will definitely get in the play-offs this year — I’ll be surprised if they don’t — and I think Trevor Francis (pictured below) has done a very good job there.

“It will be a hard, tough game for us but we’ve got a good home record and if we can play like we can at home there is no reason why we can’t get into the next round.”

And the boss is determined to maintain his relationship with the League Cup — a trophy he won once and was runner-up in three times as a player before repeating the trick as a manager at Arsenal and in his first season at the Lane.

He added: “We’re in the competition so we’ll go out, give it our best and try to go as far as we can.

“Cup competitions give you a little breathing space from the league.

“It’s always nice to have a run in the cups and it gives the fans another interest rather than just Premiership matches all the time.

“The fans always like a run in the cups, especially here at Tottenham.”

Tuesday’s tie will be played to a finish at the Lane. If the scores are level after 90 minutes we’ll play the usual 30 minutes extra-time. If it’s still level then, the tie will be decided on penalties.

By Paul Miles

To listen to George's views, click here