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Striker fight

Posted on 14 February 2005  - 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).

Pat Holland believes the key to tomorrow night's FA Youth Cup tie at the Lane will be how we handle Everton's strikers.

If that has a familiar ring to it, then turn the clock back three years and a certain Wayne Rooney destroyed our dreams of reaching the final with a display for Everton that had pundits reaching for the superlatives.

The England star now at Manchester United showed exactly what all the fuss was about at the time with two goals including a thunderbolt from fully 35 yards.

There is no Rooney this time around but coach Pat says Everton's strength is again up front.

Pat said: "We've had a look at Everton and they've been around quite a while, they've kept the side together and they've a good understanding.

"They'll have a go and it will be a good game. There are one or two different lads from when we played them in the Under-17 play-offs last season, the two strikers who I think will play were on the bench that day.

"Both were schoolboys so they've come through and on the video evidence I've seen, they look quite a handful.

"The key battles will be up front with their two strikers and they play quite a high line so it's whether or not we're clever enough to get around the back of them."

Pat needs little reminding of that Rooney semi-final. "He was the difference even though you don't really want to say that because it sounds like you are making excuses.

"We were quite even on the night but he was such a special talent, not so much at Goodison Park but when he came to White Hart Lane he could have scored five.

"People remember the second goal but forget the first, when he shaped to volley, flicked it over Ron Henry and then volleyed with his left foot. You can't coach that skill.

"The boy was a natural and on that night he was outstanding.

"It's nice to reflect from that team that we've had Stephen Kelly come through, Dean Marney, Rob Burch, Lee Barnard. Okay, we lost the game, but those boys have progressed well."