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Hughton's Irish diary

Posted on 9 October 2003  - 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).

Chris Hughton gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Ireland's crucial Euro 2004 qualifier in Switzerland.

First team coach at Spurs, Chris is also Ireland's assistant manager and there is extra Spurs interest with Robbie Keane, Steve Carr and Gary Doherty also in the squad.

We will be talking to Chris every day between now and and his return - with a place in Euro 2004 in the melting pot on Saturday.

Hughton's Irish Diary: Wednesday October 8

We've had two days training so far, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday was more an introduction back into training after the weekend, getting everyone together, all about the feel-good factor.

Wednesday was about team play, another short-sharp day but more game orientated.

On the Spurs front, Robbie Keane had a slight stiffness at the back of his knee and didn't train on Wednesday, but that was us being ultra-precautious.

Gary Doherty is also out with us. He didn't train on Wednesday, just had a light session, but he'll train more on Thursday.

Ireland has always kept Gary's spirits up because there is always an opportunity that he'll be involved at international level. So that's been important for him. It would have been disappointing for him to miss out but he's here with us and there is every chance he'll be involved.

In terms of the size of this game, we have to be grateful for the lads' experience. We have an experienced team in regards of being in this position before, not only this position but also having played a lot of international games and, most of them, in a World Cup last year.

They've been through it before and hopefully it will stand them in good stead for the game.

We've watched a lot of Switzerland. They are an offensive side that are more than capable of scoring goals. Even going back to the last game away to Russia, they went 1-0 up and started very well. There is a train of thought where you're away to Russia and perhaps you'd look to make a cagey start, but that wasn't the case.

They are that type of side, they have experience and they are similar to us. Looking over the period of the campaign, seven games, they've probably played 16/17 players. Put it this way, we're not expecting any major surprises.

In terms of our schedule, we fly out on Thursday morning, train Thursday evening, train Friday and then into the game on Saturday.

Speak to you all soon,

Chris