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Sam's gamble

Posted on 12 December 2001  - 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).

Sam Allardyce reflected on his decision to rest a number of his first team players, describing it as a gamble that didn't come off.

The likes of Michael Ricketts, Rod Wallace and Ricardo Gardner were left on the bench, while the experienced Gudni Bergsson was not involved as Allardyce reinforced his view that Premiership survival is his one and only priority.

"I'm not happy about the performance and it's a gamble you have to take sometimes," said Allardyce. "It's quite obvious to everyone it hasn't paid off.

"I have players who want to play in the first team and they got their chance - the gamble hasn't worked if you like. You never want to lose a football match, but I'm in the difficult position of looking after the squad and seeing who needs to play, be rotated or rested.

"The Worthington Cup up to now has been a great example of that but it hasn't paid off tonight.

"We knew before the start that with Tottenham's quality we'd have to be at our best to contain them - and we weren't. We got what we deserved, certainly in the 20 minute period after the first went in.

"We lost what we were good at, that's keeping our shape, closing the opposition down and making life very difficult for them. We didn't do that and they took full advantage of it because, the bottom line is, they've got the quality of player to do that.

"They had basically a full-strength side out, I didn't, and I've paid the consequences of that. While I'm very disappointed, I apologise to our fans who made the journey, but hope they understand where my priority lies.

"That is in the Premiership trying to get results and trying to make sure that's where we stay."