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The Hughton View

Posted on 10 April 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).

Our first team coach last week returned from his first competitive international assignments as assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland and, in an extra edition of his personal column, Chris assesses the outcome of the trips to Georgia and Albania.

I THINK IN the context of the group, people's expectations before were for us to get six points. I think that was more to with the fact that, because we had zero points from the first two games, people felt that for us to be right back in the frame these were two games we had to win.

When you look at the two games and take into consideration the crowds, the quality of players and, of course, the travelling - four points was always going to be four good ones. Certainly good for us to get that out of the trips and it was vital we didn't lose.

To draw both games wouldn't have been good enough, but not getting the full six points wasn't the be all and end all.

In the end, the Georgia game we deserved to win. In the second against Albania we were under some pressure at times and it was a good point.

With the group - Switzerland, Russia, Georgia, Albania and ourselves - I think what you've got from top to bottom is that everybody is capable of taking points off each other. There isn't a massive gap. In some groups the top team is dramatically stronger than the others - in ours the difference is not that much.

Albania, who perhaps weren't fancied, have taken a point off Switzerland, beaten Russia and got a draw with ourselves.

All in all, it was a good two game's work for us.

Travelling to these countries could have been described as something of a trip into the unknown in terms of what to expect locally and the playing environment.

The thing is, you are generally not there long enough to take in what is about. We were in both places for three days and the most important things, apart from the travel itself, are the hotels, the facilities and, of course, going into the game.

What I can say is that, on both occasions, we stayed in very nice hotels and couldn't complain. The training pitches, I must admit, weren't the best and the Georgia pitch wasn't great although it was a nice stadium. In Albania we couldn't fault the stadium or the pitch.

Overall, we were treated fairly well and were well received.

Dealing with the demands of the travelling media was something new to me in my role of assistant manager. It is something that Brian Kerr has moved around in that he does the press one day and I'll do it another day - which takes a little bit of pressure off of him.

Of course, that's different for me and, at the moment, it is not going badly. Generally the press have been very, very good and we have received good coverage.

I have to say though, that there are a lot of press people still there from when I was a player. Of course there are new ones, but so far it is okay and we have been received well.