December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Monday, October 28, 2013
Mousa Dembele admits Tottenham are yet to find a winning formula when they are faced with defensive opponents at home – and he believes the size of the pitch at White Hart Lane is a factor.
Spurs have a history of dropping points against supposedly weaker sides in front of their own fans in recent seasons, undermining their challenge for Champions League qualification.
This campaign, Andre Villas-Boas’ Lilywhites have suffered a 3-0 defeat against West Ham at home, and they were drawing 0-0 with visiting Hull City in the 79th minute yesterday evening, before a fortunate penalty gave them a slender 1-0 victory.
Dembele concedes that Spurs need to improve and enjoy more comfort at home – but he feels he and his team-mates have less space to operate in than some of their rivals.
At 100m long, the Lilywhites’ turf is five metres shorter than the playing area at Old Trafford, the Emirates, the Etihad and eight other clubs. And, with a width of 67m, it is one metre narrower than the majority of Premier League pitches.
“It’s not easy for us,” said Dembele. “We know that teams are going to come here and make a block, and we don’t have a big pitch so it’s even more difficult.
“I think we have to find a way to make it easier for us. I think the gaffer will talk with us as well because we always have a bit of difficulty with these kinds of teams.
“We speak about it - yesterday everyone was saying ‘wow, it’s unbelievable, everybody’s playing like this against us’. But it’s not only us, these kinds of teams do this against every top team.
“We know we have a small pitch so it makes it even more difficult. If we have more space it’s easier for us, but we have to find a way.
“I think it’s maybe a bit easier for us [away from home]. Last year as well, a lot of the time we had difficulty against teams like this [Hull]. We almost never win comfortably in these kinds of games - but I think we have a lot of quality and there must be a way to find it [the solution], and I think we will.”
Following yesterday’s game, Villas-Boas rounded on Tottenham’s fans, stating that his team faced Hull in “a difficult atmosphere with almost no support”.
Dembele said: “It’s not something that makes it easier, but we understand as well that they [the fans] are still a bit frustrated from the previous game against West Ham, and we were very disappointed as well.
“We didn’t like it either because we want to win every game. At the moment it’s very difficult to play these kinds of games, so we have to find a way.”
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