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George: It was embarrassing

Posted on 1 November 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 labelled our defending ‘embarrassing’ as we crashed out of the Worthington Cup against Birmingham City on a Halloween night full of horrors at the Lane.

First half goals from Dele Adebola (2) and Mark Burchill left us with a mountain to climb in Tuesday’s third round tie. The second half saw a marked improvement and Darren Anderton’s penalty briefly raised hopes at 3-1 but the damage had been done.

Boss George didn’t mix his words afterwards. “I thought in the first half we were very poor,” he blasted. “Defensively, it was easily the worst since I came to the club.

“We needed to be a bit more competitive. We went out there just thinking that we could pass the ball around. I thought Birmingham played it ideal, kept it tight and hit us on the break. They could have scored more.

“I had to do something at half-time and I changed the back four because we just weren’t defending. It was quite simple, I made it three at the back and pushed the full-backs on.

“There was a small improvement but we needed a second goal.

“Les had one chance with header. If we got that we would have perhaps clawed our way back but it would only have been through effort and enthusiasm.

“It was a fair result, no question. In the first half especially we were just embarrassing. The second half was an improvement but it had to be — it couldn’t get any worse.”

The general consensus was that the team were suffering from a lack of confidence.

“I don’t know if it was a lack of confidence and if that made them jittery,” added George. “They’ve been getting a bit of stick, less than me, but still stick.

“They have to be competitive right away. Normally we start nice and bright but it didn’t seem there tonight.”

To listen to George's press conference in full, click here