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MIKE McKINLEY: Stoke defeat doesn't bear thinking about

PUBLISHED: 15:29 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 07 September 2010

You have to hand it to the folks at Sky. A Spurs visit to Stoke in mid-October would hardly stand out as a game they would rush to screen, but with better foresight than most of us they have contrived to witness a battle between the bottom two, and likely

You have to hand it to the folks at Sky. A Spurs visit to Stoke in mid-October would hardly stand out as a game they would rush to screen, but with better foresight than most of us they have contrived to witness a battle between the bottom two, and likely a pivotal moment in our season.

Things have obviously been dire so far, but the consequences of defeat here really don't bear thinking about. Aside from cutting us adrift at the bottom, it would send us into a staggeringly busy period of the season in a dire state and certainly with the axe hanging over the manager's head.

Playing weekends and midweek with European journeys galore won't be easy for the current boss, so it's hard to see how it could be anything other than impossible for a new man to make an impact.

But nonetheless an impact would be required very urgently if we don't come away with something on Sunday.

With over a quarter of the season gone, we'll be looking at turning from a shambles into superstars in order to get ourselves out of the mire. I can't bring myself to contemplate the "R" word at the moment, not with the sort of players at our disposal.

But the day when it has to be considered is not too far away if we don't conjure three points soon.

Historically, a trip away up north with the rain falling and wind blowing doesn't exactly count for a banker Spurs win either, so we can but hope that even without form there is at least appetite for the fight. Too early for a game to define our season?

I'm not sure it is.

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