Victory in Poland would give troubled Ramos an escape route
PUBLISHED: 12:12 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010
Spurs, rock bottom of the Premier League following Sunday s 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth, take a fragile 2-1 advantage into the Uefa Cup second leg game against Wisla Krakow tonight - and for manager Juande Ramos the match has all the hallmarks of a do-or-die
Spurs, rock bottom of the Premier League following Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth, take a fragile 2-1 advantage into the Uefa Cup second leg game against Wisla Krakow tonight - and for manager Juande Ramos the match has all the hallmarks of a do-or-die last stand.
Wisla's away goal means a 1-0 victory for the Poles would send the Lilywhites crashing out of the competition before the group stages. And such a result would heap more pressure on the already beleaguered boss who was booed by the Spurs fans for the first time at Pompey.
Yet, Jermaine Jenas who has taken over as vice-captain from the departed Robbie Keane, feels that attack is the best policy for his under-fire team-mates.
"We are leading after the first leg, but we will not go for a draw," Jenas told Ham&High Sport. "That is not the right mindset. We cannot try to defend throughout as Wisla are a good team."
Tottenham skipper Ledley King is set to return to the starting line up after being rested for the Portsmouth league match. He is likely to resume his partnership in central defence with Jonathan Woodgate. But with new signings Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka cup-tied, Ramos has just 19 senior players to pick from. The under-fire Spaniard will be hoping that Gareth Bale will be fit after missing Sunday's dire defeat with a foot injury.
Tottenham fans chanted, "You don't know what you're doing," when Ramos replaced Pavlyuchenko with Darren Bent for the last 17 minutes at Fratton Park when Spurs trailed 2-0.
And Jenas revealed that the pressure is getting to the Spurs boss. "The manager gets very angry at certain things, but he also has a very level head," he said.
"The players know we have not been up to our usual standards. The confidence is never going to be sky-high when you are not winning games. We need to improve a lot."
Spurs return from Europe to face a buoyant Hull City fresh from their shock win over Arsenal at the Lane on Sunday and Jenas expects another difficult match. "Hull will be tricky," he said. "We saw what they are capable of at the moment against Arsenal."
Holders Spurs have been drawn at home to Liverpool in the Carling Cup on November 12.