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Pre-match: Middlesbrough

Posted on 17 December 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 hopes that an early goal in our favour will set the tempo for the night against Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup quarter-final at the Lane.

Boro have been stubborn opponents in recent times - keeping eight clean sheets in their last nine games. Chris says that particular fact does not make the course of the game any easier to predict.

"You never know how the game is going to go," he considered. "Touch wood, it might be the type of game where we score early and they have to open up a little bit.

"The reports that we have on them say they are a very tight unit, but that could go out of the window. All you can do is make sure that your preparation is right, go about the game in the right way and, of course, look for a response from our last game at Newcastle."

The first of Boro's clean sheet sequence was at the Lane in October when a cagey encounter finished goalless.

"I think they finished the game very well at White Hart Lane in October and their second half performance was very good.

"Mendieta was influential on the day, but I thought Boateng was their best player and he got forward a bit more than he would normally.

"Probably their strength is that they are a very well drilled team. They do have quality players and have good players available up front. Maccarone played at the weekend and is a very good and big prospect - I'm sure they feel he will turn it around over a period of time.

"Cup nights are very special at White Hart Lane and we've got to look to get every advantage we can. The advantage we have is that we are at home in front of our crowd."