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George's programme notes

Posted on 31 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).

Cup nights at White Hart Lane have always been a bit special and the Worthington Cup remains an important competition to us.

Reaching Europe again at the end of this season would be a major success all round because we simply failed to do ourselves justice last season and already miss the cup challenges very much.

Our aim for a big club like ours should always be competing in Europe and that's the level of consistency that I am seeking. It may seem a long way off at times but if hard work is the catalyst then we have the will to get there.

We cannot expect everything to happen overnight and there are those who conveniently forget that we were flirting with relegation only a few brief seasons ago.To that end, I was disappointed with a section of our crowd's reaction during our last game here when small groups of our followers literally turned their backs on our players when the team needed them most.

I accept that this is a small minority but how unfair to greet our only setback in what was always going to be a difficult game in such a negative way. It was a game that saw us play some outstanding football in the opening quarter and one that we won well.

With Derby determined to climb off the bottom of the table and our own preparations disrupted by injury and illness right up to the kick-off, we needed to produce a solid professional performance in the knowledge that any side put out by Jim Smith will scrap and battle throughout.

I have never been one to whinge about injuries but Tottenham over recent seasons has formed a poor medical reputation for injuries and part of the lack of success last season was the number of key influential players - including Sol Campbell, Darren Anderton, Les Ferdinand, Oyvind Leonhardsen and Tim Sherwood - suffering long-term injuries. Unfortunately, we have not got the strength in depth (which will take time) to overcome the problem. However, I believe that if I could field the strongest Tottenham team then on our day we could be a match for anyone.

Unfortunately, something of an injury crisis has started again but hopefully the wonderful team spirit we have among the players, and the blooding of some of the youngsters we have acquired, will see us through some difficult games in the coming weeks.

Our programme deadlines prevent me making any reference to Saturday's big game at Chelsea, but we will have to show that same resilience against Birmingham City tonight because we know that we face an ambitious and capable side.

Their support and status alone warrant City a place in the Premiership and I would love to see them back in the top flight again before too long. They certainly possess the quality and will give us as hard a game as any Premier club. All that you must do in these games is to survive. To live to fight another day. If you can play some decent football along the way then great but the priority is to get through.

We'll be digging in and seeking to win those little individual battles all over the pitch that are so vital.

But remember - you also have a part to play. You are a member of our team and together we are strong.