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Talking Shop

Posted on 30 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).

Director of football David Pleat calls for a positive outlook on the remainder of the season, offers his take on the controversy surrounding Mauricio Taricco and how press criticism should be dealt with...

WHEN YOU HAVE been in football a long time in whatever capacity, you know how much defeat can easily make life downbeat if you are of that ilk.

Football teaches you to be optimistic and you must always look for positive signs throughout any sequence of poor results. It is not easy.

However, as demonstrated by victory at Fulham on Sunday, we have faith in the quality of our squad, which has in recent weeks been decimated by injuries. The circumstances of a couple of recent defeats have been rather unfortunate.

When Mauricio Taricco got sent off against Manchester United it was his first red card at Tottenham Hotspur and only his second in English football after playing four seasons at Ipswich.

That was an unfair decision we were forced to accept. To be a goal down at Old Trafford against players of such ability and power and then go down to ten men was a burden too far. Since that time we have suffered against Chelsea particularly and, this time, Mauricio lost his composure in the tackle.

One does not know why players do these things. Referees and officials should be worried about players who continually abuse the rules - Mauricio is not one of those guys. If any journalist, who wrote some of the vitriol against him, knew what a decent person he is and a caring family man, then I'm sure they would have written these articles with less prejudice.

However, we also understand that when you aren't winning you have to take the criticism and take it on the chin. In adversity one sees the strength not only of players, but also of supporters and people around the club.

We can all smile in victory, but you must also be gracious in defeat and accept it properly.

I was not surprised, but pleased that Blackburn Rovers - who lost 2-0 to us in the Youth Cup - sent a letter from their youth development office thanking us for the hospitality, congratulating us on our win and wishing us well for the remainder of the competition.

It is that cameraderie and spirit that is still alive in football.

Unfortunately, many people's views are clouded by what they read in the national press - we understand that. The only way to put things right is to win games and hopefully win with style. That is a tradition that can never be changed and we would not want it to be.

What we have to do is work harder to regain the respect that Tottenham deserve. In recent weeks our reputation suffered a little, but we believe in the quality of our squad, the type of football they play and, of course, the management.

It is vital that in the last few games of the season we do justice to our very good support we have enjoyed this season, also to our current record membership figures and to the reputation and accolades that were bestowed on us this season due to the way the team were playing.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and we must not be oblivious to criticism, if it's constructive, and take destructive criticism with a pinch of salt. We have no alternative.

We must now push forwards and onwards and try and finish the season on an optimistic note before the summer ahead.