GARY MABBUTT: I'm confident we can end wait for a trophy
I M FEELING very confident we can end the long wait for a trophy with victory against Chelsea in Sunday s Carling Cup final. I believe Tottenham s hunger will be greater than Chelsea s. It is a big game and there will be a wonderful atmosphere. But abov
I'M FEELING very confident we can end the long wait for a trophy with victory against Chelsea in Sunday's Carling Cup final.
I believe Tottenham's hunger will be greater than Chelsea's. It is a big game and there will be a wonderful atmosphere. But above all it is a great opportunity for us to finally win a cup.
And given the way we are playing at the moment I'm feeling positive we can shock Chelsea. Last season we went 3-0 up at the Bridge against a full-strength Chelsea in the FA Cup only to throw it away.
If we can show the same sort of attitude, desire and hunger that we displayed in the semi-final second leg against Arsenal we can upset Chelsea. We are the underdogs but I also feel it is better for us to be underdogs.
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Since Juande Ramos took over from Martin Jol we have been defensively sounder and fitter. Looking back at that semi-final thrashing of the Gunners at the Lane, all the players, including the ones who came on as substitutes, were magnificent on the night. The fans also created an amazing atmosphere and the players can expect a similar one at Wembley.
I've also been impressed with the way we've been playing over the past few weeks. We played well at Old Trafford in the FA Cup without getting any reward and then should have beaten them at the Lane in the league.
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However, Ramos is a good defensive coach and even if Ledley King and Michael Dawson are both unfit for the final, we've got strength in depth with the likes of Jonathan Woodgate, Younes Kaboul, Dider Zokora and Tom Huddlestone to fill in.
The Spaniard has brought out the best in certain other players such as Steed Malbranque and Jermaine Jenas. They both look different players under him and I feel we've now got the squad to challenge Chelsea.
Ramos has impressed me since taking over in October. He has shown himself to be a strong manager, one who is not afraid to make brave decisions.
Paul Robinson is still an excellent goalkeeper but he had a difficult time and Ramos quickly dropped him for No 2 Radek Cerny.
However, what has impressed me most about Ramos is that he does things quietly. He gets on with his job and is not afraid to blood players like Jamie O'Hara, who has certainly grabbed his chance.
Jamie came into the squad at a difficult time but has done very well. Ramos trusts him, as he showed when he selected him to face Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
I think Gus Poyet has also played a big part. His official role may be that of an assistant coach but Gus also acts as a translator between the players and the manager.
I was at Anderlecht for our Uefa Cup game in December and we wanted to bring on Kevin Prince Boateng as a substitute. Ramos tried to explain what he wanted Boateng to do but the player didn't understand.
It needed Gus to explain what was required. Gus also acts as a mediator between the manager and media and is doing an excellent job there as well.
The Carling final is an important game for the club in more ways than one. Not only is a major trophy at stake but the winners are just 90 minutes away from securing a place in Europe next season.
I feel that with only 12 Premier League games remaining, it is asking too much for us to qualify via the league for the Uefa Cup.
The club has been involved in European football for the past two seasons and Europe is where we want to be season after season.
But make no mistake, Chelsea will be a big hurdle to overcome. They have consistently fielded strong teams in the competition and they will have their African players back from the Africa Cup of Nations. But as I said, if we can approach the game in the same manner as we did against Arsenal I can see us winning.