THE JOL VERDICT
Martin Jol offers his considered view on the weekend defeat to Chelsea and looks ahead to Thursday evening's UEFA Cup return with Sevilla at the Lane...
Martin Jol offers his considered view on the weekend defeat to Chelsea and looks ahead to Thursday evening's UEFA Cup return with Sevilla at the Lane...WE MADE FIVE changes to our side that took on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and, while you might say it was not our best team, it was one that took into consideration a few injuries as well.
On the left flank Lee Young-Pyo was missing through injury while Benoit Assou-Ekotto will be out for the next 10 days to two weeks so you have to use your options.
Having said that, even when you don't play particularly well - and that was the case on Saturday - you can still get a result. We have had tight games and outcomes against Chelsea and I don't think there is a big difference between the two teams. I think they are a bit more physical than us and they were able to field a more familiar team.
It is about circumstances though, I feel we are getting somewhere and that is why I was disappointed. It was like looking at our team two and a half years ago when we played an away game, we didn't have a lot of conviction. I felt and still feel that we should have got a result against Chelsea on Saturday.
Of course, it didn't help that we had to play 39 hours after finishing the game against Sevilla and it is never a good thing to play Thursday night away in Europe and then early on a Saturday afternoon.
Despite a couple of suggestions otherwise, believe you me we moved heaven and earth to get the fixture moved but it was determined that we had to play on Saturday because of Chelsea playing on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Given the timetable we have encountered it is just impossible to play the same team in every game. If we had fielded the same team as we did on Thursday night, you can be 95 per cent certain that we would have picked up a couple of injuries. For us all the games are important and we have to strike a balance given the circumstances we are faced with.
Dimitar Berbatov could have played and he came on for 25-30 minutes, but did not have the same impact as against Sevilla or Reading. Dimitar told me that he was tired as was Aaron Lennon after playing two games for England, but I played him against Sevilla and I substituted him before the end, then he missed out against Chelsea because I need him again on Thursday.
Looking back at the first leg in Seville I feel we did a lot of things right. I still thought they were a bit dangerous with one or two players and, if you let them play the ball up to their strikers, it is only a matter of them laying it off and then everybody is on the move. Their movement is so good that they will always create chances.
I've seen them eight or nine times already, plus we've had numerous reports on them, and if you let them play they are probably one of the best teams.
We did well, but we could have scored two or three goals - something I seem to say a lot in hindsight. That is my frustration, we scored one and it is always good to net an away goal, but they are capable of scoring a goal.
We need the crowd, that is for sure, while hopefully 90 per cent of our players will be available to us. I know I really don't have to say anything to our supporters about creating an atmosphere to help the players, I feel the crowd is so good to us every time - we are all Spurs people.
For Sevilla it will be difficult to play against us at the Lane, I know it will be one hell of an atmosphere - it will be electrifying.
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