THE JOL VERDICT
Martin Jol reflects on victory over Middlesbrough, the red card received by Didier Zokora and the injury sustained by Robbie Keane before looking ahead to Saturday's meeting with Charlton.
Martin Jol reflects on victory over Middlesbrough, the red card received by Didier Zokora and the injury sustained by Robbie Keane before looking ahead to Saturday's meeting with Charlton.I WAS HAPPY that we responded to our weekend disappointments with the win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday. Losing two matches out of 16 is not that bad, but it is the way we lost at Arsenal. What surprised me the most was the way we couldn't get near them or didn't get physical.
In home matches with our crowd lifting us we don't have that problem, but away from home we can lack a bit of physical presence. We have had a few draws, but we have got to convert them into wins and score our goals. Our strikers have shown recently that they can make the difference and that is what we need and, if we don't do that, we have to keep a clean sheet. That is about being professional, defending as a team and that is what we have to improve on.
Sometimes it is not easy when you have five new players in your side, some who aren't yet completely used to the English game. Taking it all into consideration, given our sequence over the last couple of months, we shouldn't be too negative, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
There was an expectation when we went to Arsenal and what happened was disappointing for everybody in that we didn't give them a good game. We didn't play like we were up against our biggest rivals and I want to give the supporters the feeling that we play for them. We have to convert their thoughts and passion for the club into those games.
We didn't do that and it is something that will stay with me for some time. We have to move on though and the only thing we could do on Wednesday was show the supporters how much we respect them. Ledley King spent a couple of minutes on that issue before the game, we don't want them to feel humiliated or sad, we want to make our supporters happy and that is the main thing.
We have hundreds of thousands of supporters who were very disappointed and I could feel that. I don't want it again.
We missed chances against Middlesbrough and if you look at our goalscoring record it is amazing that we are in the top half of the table, when we could have had problems because of also playing in Europe and the Carling Cup. We haven't and that is very positive, but we have to harsh and tell the players they have to do everything in their power to achieve something for Spurs because that is what our supporters deserve.
At first I thought Didier Zokora was unlucky to be sent off because he tried to prevent any trouble breaking out. I've seen it again now and I felt he probably deserved the sending off because if you are so far away from a situation and run in it does look aggressive. You then get a crowd of players coming together and you don't want that.
Unfortunately, Robbie Keane sustained a medial ligament strain, which is a blow to us - he came on, scored, and then had to go off. He didn't start because I felt Jermain Defoe did well in our last home game against Wigan, but he came on and scored for us almost straight away. That is Robbie, he is a great character and very important to us.
It is Charlton next for us at the Lane on Saturday and they will be boosted by their win over Blackburn on Wednesday. They've got some good players, Andy Reid now plays in the hole and we recognise his talent. He is a wonderful boy with an excellent left foot and he is showing up well for Charlton. Darren Bent is also a fantastic player and Charlton have the ingredients to get results, but we are at home and we want to close the gap between us and the top clubs as soon as possible.