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Programme: Glenn Hoddle

Posted on 2 March 2002  - 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).

As disappointing as Sunday's result was, we now have to use that experience to drive us on to better things. And we have to do that from today.

There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves because the Worthington Cup has gone and that game is history. True, we can look back with a number of regrets, particularly at the fact that we didn't play well, we missed good chances and had what I considered a decent shout for a penalty turned down.

But it's how we now respond to that defeat that matters. All credit to Blackburn for lifting the trophy but we know that we are a better side than we looked at Cardiff and now we have to prove it in the games to come.

It can be hard to lift yourself after defeat in a final and I well remember how I felt following the final of the same competition in 1982 when we lost to Liverpool after extra time. But we picked ourselves up and returned to Wembley in the following May to retain the FA Cup.

By co-incidence we also beat Chelsea in the sixth round that season so hopefully that will be a lucky omen!

That's our next game here after today with the two sides then meeting in the Premiership at Stamford Bridge just days later. Ahead of that we travel to Manchester United and that sequence illustrates that there's certainly no let up to our season.

There is still a good deal to play for because we are determined to improve our league position as well as put in a solid FA Cup challenge.

We were all very impressed by the Millennium Stadium and by your excellent support throughout. We wanted so much to give you what we all wanted — a win in any form — and were so proud of your vocal efforts that defeat was even harder to take in the end. Thanks to all who made the long trip and gave us such marvellous encouragement.

But we'll be better for the experience. Obviously, some of our older players have suffered the misery of defeat in those circumstances and will bounce back quickly but for the younger element, it hit even harder.

But having tasted the 'sour' they'll now want the 'sweet' even more and won't want to rediscover that feeling of utter dejection that pervaded our dressing room after the presentation ceremony at Cardiff. That should drive them on to better things.

Now we have to bounce back against Sunderland today in the certain knowledge that Peter Reid's team are always fully prepared and totally committed. We can't afford a Worthington Cup hangover because victory this afternoon is crucial for so many reasons.

I was delighted with our 2-1 win over Sunderland at their Stadium of Light in September where we showed a lot of resolve and created so many chances. In fact, the only downside was that we didn't take enough of our goalscoring opportunities and ended up hanging on for victory in the end.

By then we should have been out of sight and more comfortable after Christian Ziege had opened the scoring and then set up another goal for Teddy Sheringham. But when Kevin Phillips pulled one back for the home side the last 10 minutes or so became pretty frenetic.

We should have had it done and dusted by then and I said at the time that we needed to become more clinical in our finishing. That's a quality that any ambitious side needs and the further up the scale you go the harder it becomes because the better sides give you even less.

But a good ratio of goals to chances is essential and I was therefore delighted with our last game here when we defeated Tranmere Rovers 4-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

We did a good solid, professional job against a side whose own giantkilling reputation travelled before them. We dictated proceedings from start to finish with our passing play to the fore and the outcome was never in doubt.

As I say, we're in for another tough game today. Get behind the lads as you have done all season and together we can start building for the rest of the season. It's certainly not all over yet.

In conclusion, one piece of good news this week was Stephen Clemence's return to action for the Reserves at West Ham on Tuesday night after suffering injury in the first weeks of the season.

Hopefully, some of our other 'long termers' will soon follow suit.