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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 14 March 2007  - 12:00

Martin Jol looks back on our FA Cup first date with Chelsea and ahead to tonight’s UEFA Cup meeting with Braga…

Martin Jol looks back on our FA Cup first date with Chelsea and ahead to tonight’s UEFA Cup meeting with Braga…THE ONE THING I would have liked after the game at Chelsea on Sunday would have been to go to our fans to thank them with a win under our belts. I still feel we did well on the day, but if you are very critical you could say it was an awful draw and it was. Now we can get them back to White Hart Lane, they have got three matches as well, so with the support of our crowd it could be an unbelievable night on Monday.

I have seen a couple of matches at Chelsea where behind the goal it is only the bottom part which is full. The whole stand was full of Tottenham supporters and what can I say? There are only a few clubs in England who could do the same and we are one of the clubs with the best away support.

We've been involved in some incredible games recently and we've certainly entertained the crowd but sometimes, especially away, you don't always want that. I want to entertain our fans, not the other team's crowd, but it was a great game to be involved in like last week at West Ham.

You want to come out as a winner though and I feel we should have been a winner at Stamford Bridge. I know if we could have scored the fourth goal we would have been okay. We need to score goals at the moment, whereas last season we had probably four or five one-nils - especially away from home - but this year is different.

We are conceding too many goals from corner kicks and free-kicks - and that is a problem. I think it is not only about physical toughness, but about concentration as well.

We were very positive and we had that feeling before the game, that maybe there was something in it for us. We had nothing to lose because our away record against Chelsea has not been good over the last decades.

I know we could have had a result there last season until Gallas scored the winner and that was a poor goal to concede - it was only about one clearance. The year before we had a draw and we have beaten them here at White Hart Lane.

I thought with Aaron Lennon and the two strikers high up, we could probably cause them problems and that was true. They couldn't come up with the solutions in the first half and in the second half the only thing they did was throw everything at us.

We should have scored the fourth one then nobody would have said anything. Berbatov, Defoe - even with the second chance after Lennon had the one v one with the keeper. Normally he would have scored a goal, probably he was a bit worried because somebody came up with his leg high.

It was not about containing Chelsea at 3-1 after the break and people tend to either talk about going forwards or backwards! We don't go backwards, we go forward to try and score goals and we have scored 20 in our last six games. You can't say we don't go forward, all our intentions are attacking intentions - the only thing is you have to keep clean sheets.

If you concede two goals you have to score three and on Sunday we needed to score four - that is one or two too many. Having said that, Steed Malbranque had to come on for Aaron Lennon because he said he was running against the wall. Berbatov was having a problem with his groin so I said I would leave him for ten minutes and left him for 21 or 22 minutes. Anthony Gardner came on and after a couple of seconds he did his knee, which is something you really don't need because he is a big guy and if there is one player who can challenge Drogba it is Anthony Gardner.

I felt that on Sunday we could have outplayed them, we scored three goals in the first half and in the second we could have scored two or three more. I think we were a bit unfortunate but, on the other hand, it is about us and that is what I have said this season.

Our next challenge is our UEFA Cup second leg against Braga, a tie in which we hold a 3-2 advantage from the first leg. If you see their line-up from Sunday they played probably two players who will play against us. The only thing they want to focus on is this second match and, believe you me, it will be very difficult because if you let them play they are a terrific side. I mean even in Portugal they couldn't believe how well we did because we were physically stronger.

We have to be prepared for this one, we have to give everything physically and then our quality will hopefully pull us through. The main thing is - and I want to focus on it again - we need our crowd, we need the supporters because I feel with our three matches in the next five or six days they have got to pull us through.


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