JACQUES SANTINI leaving was a shock to the system especially in terms of how quickly it all happened. The players are happy with the appointment of Martin Jol. When Jacques was here Martin took very much a back seat but when he did take sessions you could see what a quality coach he was.
CHARLTON was very frustrating. The first half was very poor but we had a chat at half-time and felt we could come out and do something in the second half. Typical of the way things are going at the moment the deflected goal then put us 3-0 down and it's very difficult to come back from there. We nearly did though and we showed a bit of character to make it 3-2 and that gave us confidence for Burnley.
WE MADE a very difficult game at Burnley look easy in the end on Tuesday. They had a few chances but they are a decent side and beat Aston Villa in the last round. We were expecting a tough game and that's what we got but we performed well and made it easier than it was on paper, especially in the second half. It was nice to have a quiet half!
MICHAEL Carrick did well at Burnley. He's a quality player and was a calming influence on the team, sat in the holding role in midfield. He made a couple of great runs forward as well, set up the first goal and made things tick for us in there.
I'VE HAD 'derby' games for Leeds United against Manchester United but I know Saturday against Arsenal will be bigger. As soon as you sign for Spurs people make you aware of the Arsenal game. It's massive. As soon as the fixtures come out fans are looking for the dates against Arsenal. I know already how much it means to the fans and the club and it's a game we want to win.
I REMEMBER beating Arsenal at Highbury with Leeds at the end of the 2002-03 season. I think it's the last time they lost at home in the Premiership. It was brilliant. We were struggling at Leeds at that point and knew we had to go to Arsenal with more tough games to follow and we were really thinking whether or not we could avoid relegation. So to go there and win with a goal in the last couple of minutes and stop them winning the title was unbelievable. That would have been great for the Spurs fans at the time. The Leeds fans feel the same way about United as well so although they were delighted we were staying up, in the same instance they weren't too happy because we'd just handed United the title!
THE GAME plan that day was simple - we just got stuck into them. We had nothing to lose, no-one expected us to win and Peter Reid said to get about them and if we matched them, hopefully our quality would come through and we'd get the rub of the green. We did all that and it was a great day all round.
IF THINK we have to get amongst them again on Saturday. They will want to come and play football as they have been doing. People say the first 20 minutes are a bit manic in these games but if the whole game is a bit like that we'll have a chance. We have to get amongst them, don't let them play and let our boys up front do the business. I can't wait for this one!