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Tough task at the Riverside

Posted on 29 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).

Glenn Hoddle concedes that this is not the ideal time to go and face a confident Middlesbrough.

After a sticky start to the season for new manager Steve McClaren, Boro have lost only two of their last ten games in all competitions and are on the verge of guaranteeing Premiership safety.

The Teeside club are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they are to face the challenge of Arsenal at Old Trafford and should be in a confident frame of mind having just overcome Manchester United at the same venue.

Glenn acknowledges that he takes his team to face a side in a bit of form.

"They have, they're in the semi-final of the FA Cup, beaten Manchester United and they're probably looking at another three points to make them safe," said the boss. "So it is not the best time to go and play them, is it? If you look at it like that."

Middlesbrough's success has been built on a solid foundation. For a side that was struggling early in the season, to have conceded only 38 goals in the Premiership shows that their climb up the table has been based, first and foremost, on not letting them in.

They have kept 11 clean sheets in the league this season and the only 'thumpings' came early on against Arsenal and Newcastle.

It is this sort of solidity that Glenn feels helped us to record a first clean sheet for a while against Fulham last Sunday.

"We've got to be positive and look at what we've achieved. We got a good away win at Fulham, which was always a difficult game for us and one that we had to win. Now we've got to go to another away game in a confident mood.

"We worked extremely hard at Fulham and we need a similar sort of performance to get the result at Middlesbrough.

"It's going to be a tough game, but we go there looking forward to it rather than 'what's going to happen' type of thing. I always think that's good."