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The Hughton View

Posted on 23 February 2003  - 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).

Fulham are next for us on Monday after our little break and it is fair to say that the reverse fixture at Loftus Road was the first low point of the season for us.

Not wishing to delve into cliches, but the old one about two halves came into play. Thinking back to the first half, with the goals we scored, it was actually a very good performance.

Sometimes the opposition get a spark that gives them a lift and can act as a turning point in the game. Milo having a goal disallowed, that would probably have sealed the game, could have been it for Fulham.

With them back in the game and us on the back foot it is sometimes difficult to start making progress with the ball again. Fulham established a stronghold in the play and it really summed up that game.

Leading by two goals in the first half can be difficult. You've obviously got to think about the tactics you employ and, during a period of time where you might lose your way, you often decide to become very solid and try not to give anything away.

By becoming solid you also give away a lot of ground and give the other team possession of the ball. You can also try to repeat the first half performance, which is a more forward thinking game based on attack - which leaves you more vulnerable.

You win more games when you get those decisions right. It was one of those games where, in the first half, we made lots of right decisions and in the second we didn't.

When I looked at Fulham last season they struck me as a very, very good passing side and probably the only part of their game that concerned them was the amount of goals scored.

I've noticed in their play sometimes this season that their build-up is perhaps a little more direct now than last season.

One fact that we must be aware of is that they do have some very good footballers in the team that are capable, on any occasion, of competing and having very good possession.

One player I know a little better now through my association with Ireland is Steve Finnan, who is very highly rated and can play right-back or on the right of midfield.

He is a very offensive full-back, a good player who is much more experienced now with the international games under his belt.

He is one of a number of very good players Fulham have, another being Sean Davis, the midfielder called up by England for the Australia game. He is a very mature lad, one thing that has always struck me about him is that he is a responsible player who never shys away.

If I look at the game and modern midfield players, he is also somebody that is prepare to dig in and compete as well.

I will reserve judgement on the benefits of our little break until after the Fulham game. If we win the game we will assess that it was a very welcome one, if we don't we will feel that we've missed the continuity.

If you were given a choice though, it is certainly nice at this stage in the season to have some time out. Especially after the busy Christmas period.

What it enables you to do is assess your injury situation and offer recovery time to lads with little knocks.

In conclusion, it is the three points are what we are after on Monday. If we don't get them it is not the be all and end all but, for us to achieve what we want to achieve then these are the games that we should be winning.

Having won the last game at home it gives us the opportunity to put together some sort of good run between now and the end of the season that will hopefully get us up to where we want to be