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The Hughton View

Posted on 16 November 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).

Since my last time of writing we have gone through a difficult period with defeats to Burnley and Sunderland and I will comment on these games later.

Firstly, however, it is right to look ahead and we are all looking forward to the short trip to Highbury on Saturday to face Arsenal.

This is the type of match where it matters little what your form is heading into the encounter - theirs or ours. Positions in the table don't count for much, all this goes out of the window due to the magnitude of the game.

It's about performing on the day and, certainly for us, attempting to turn around our recent fortunes and competing against a very, very good side.

With us coming into the game after a couple of setbacks it could be viewed as a bad time to be facing Arsenal, but it could also be the right game to get us back on track.

It is always psychological. When is the best time to play somebody? When is the worst? Is it better to play a team after a few defeats or when on a good run? What you've got to do is use these factors to your own benefit.

We've had a poor couple of performances and we need to bounce back. Irrespective of the fact that it is against Arsenal, we want to bounce back at the next opportunity we have - that happens to be against them.

They might consider their own form in recent weeks to be not as good as it was in the early part of the season and it could be something that they need to address as well.

Hopefully we'll get it tactically right on the day and have enough good performances on the day to get a result.

Players are certainly aware of their responsibility to the fans in these derby games, probably more so than any other. The players are conscious of what the support means to them and to the club. That goes without saying.

Having said that, on the park they are 100 per cent focused on the job in hand - whether it be Arsenal, Bolton or whoever. But they do know and are very much aware of what this game means to the supporters.

They also know that a result in this game, certainly as a player, can do you a big favour.

Looking back on our last two, I'd like to think that our confidence has not been eroded.

If you look at the games, the Burnley game started at a much lesser tempo than what we thought it would. For the first 25 minutes we were very much in control of the game, which possibly didn't do us any favours.

If it had been a typical cup tie during that period it might have given us the whack that we needed to realise 'we are in a cup tie here!' By the time we looked to address it, it was too late and, in the end, I don't think we could have too many complaints that we didn't win the game.

Probably more disappointing to me was the Sunderland game. We'd come off the back of the Burnley disappointment and were looking to bounce back against a team that were having their own difficulties.

You could actually sense, being up there, that they were very nervous in front of their crowd. We genuinely felt we could go there and get a result and, during the first period of the game, I still felt this.

It was disappointing in the end because I can't say that we particularly deserved to get a result. Having said that, at 0-0 and had Simon Davies scored, I have no doubts we would have gone on and won.