Luka Modric believes patience could well be the key against Fulham at the Lane tonight (Tuesday, January 26).
We've been frustrated in our last two home matches by two excellent goalkeeping displays - firstly by Hull's Boaz Myhill in the goalless draw on January 16 and then Leeds' Casper Ankergren in the early stages of the 2-2 draw in the FA Cup on Saturday.
There has certainly been no lack of chances created at the Lane this season and Luka insists if we don't get that early goal, there will be no need to hit the panic button.
Our Croatian midfielder was as mystified as anyone as to how we didn't get the crucial breakthrough against Hull, who were happy to get men behind the ball and invited us to find a way to goal. But, while he isn't suggesting Fulham will do likewise this evening, he doesn't expect teams will come to the Lane and play an open style of football which could see them get punished.
"Everyone in the division knows that we have a good team and that this season we are pushing for a place in the top four, so some teams will come here and defend and look to hit us on the break," explained Modric.
"It is difficult if we don't open them up and get an early goal, then the game gets harder and harder the longer it goes on, but patience is the key. Everyone - the players and the crowd - must be patient and the fans need to get behind us all through the game, even if the goal doesn't come straight away.
"Even if it is 0-0 at half-time, or after 70 minutes, we mustn't panic in these situations. We need to just keep playing our football, keep creating chances and hope that one of them will go in. We will always make chances because we play an attacking brand of football and more often than not we will convert at least one of them.
"Against Hull, I think we played well but it was one of those days where we just couldn't score. Obviously it didn't help that they had Superman in goal," he laughed. "But one goal would have changed that match in a big way. We have a lot of quality players who can open up teams and if we can play against Fulham the way we played against Hull, I'm sure we will score and go on to win the game."
Read Luka's interview in full over four pages in tonight's official matchday programme...
ELSEWHERE IN THE PROGRAMME
Harry Redknapp - The manager's latest, exclusive column.
Wilson Palacios - Everything wanted to know about the midfielder in our A-Z feature.
Numbers Game - We look at numbers 15 and 16.
Latest news - All the latest from the first team, Academy, Ticket Office and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
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