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George protects the kids

Posted on 3 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 admits he is protecting his young players from the hostile atmosphere at White Hart Lane. The likes of Simon Davies, Gary Doherty, Alton Thelwell, Ledley King, Matthew Etherington and Anthony Gardner have all featured in squads and on the bench in recent weeks but notably, only Davies and Doherty have appeared.

Boss George confirmed: “I’m tempted to play the youngsters but I think at the present time, especially with the present hostility from the fans, it would be a difficult decision to do that.

“These players should be nursed along and put in when we’re comfortable to put them in not when we’ve got a red-hot atmosphere that could kill their confidence.

“But they are promising kids, good kids and I will try to nurture them along and decide when the best time is to put them in.”

George added that he did not have a problem with fans voicing their opinions and perhaps it was something the youngsters would have to learn to accept.

“It’s part of our profession,” he said. “We’re in a very competitive, very pressurised with the game at its peak right now.

“Football is at a peak it’s never been before — capacity crowds week in, week out, non-stop throughout the media and it is part of their growing up.

“The people pay their money and are entitled to criticise. I don’t have a problem with that.

“They come to see a winning team. If we’re winning with young players in then that is a dream, like Manchester United when they introduced the group of kids, like Leeds United at the present time.

“They are introducing them into winning teams. I will have to do the same when I think the time is right.

“But the fans have a right to criticise. I don’t have a problem with that at all.

“It’s maybe something the young players will have to leant to live with. They get the rewards and maybe they will have to put up with pressure. But I will try to relieve them of it for as long as possible.”

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