King injury gives Jol cause for concern

April 4, 2006

Tottenham boss Martin Jol has warned his side they must shake off the loss of captain Ledley King and cut out the mistakes in order to pick up the points they need to secure a Champions League place.

King was ruled out of the 3-1 defeat against Newcastle because of ankle and knee injuries sustained in training.

The defender is undergoing extensive treatment but it is not yet known if he will be available for Saturday's home clash with Manchester City.

The worrying factor for Jol is that Spurs tend to concede more goals when King is out of the side and unless they tighten up in his absence, it could cost them fourth place in the Barclays Premiership.

'We played without Ledley against West Brom away when Kanu scored two goals and Leicester in the FA Cup where we conceded three goals - which is very rare for us.

'You can't say we are not confident when Ledley is not there, but he is certainly an important player. The worry for me is that we concede more goals when he is not playing and that is not a good thing for a squad.

'It is something we have to work on in the future, but we have to grab points now even if Ledley is not available. We are capable of doing that if we cut out the little mistakes.'

Meanwhile, striker Jermain Defoe has made it clear he is happy to stay at Spurs.

Defoe admitted he wants to play regularly to ensure he is part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad for the World Cup finals in Germany this summer.

The 23-year-old has struggled to feature in Spurs' starting line-up consistently this season and was again left on the substitutes' bench for the start of their clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

'At the end of the day, if I play I've got to perform and if I don't play then I can't perform,' he said. 'A lot of people have said `are you worried that you're not playing' and of course, there's a lot of great strikers in the country, English strikers who are scoring goals and I want to be the same.

'I want to play and score goals and I believe that if I play I will score goals.'

Spurs will reach the Champions League by finishing fourth unless arch rivals Arsenal win the competition this season.

That European boost has helped Defoe to make up his mind about staying with the club. The former West Ham striker has been linked with moves to Liverpool and abroad but says he is happy at White Hart Lane.

'What I've been talking about is all positive,' he insisted. 'We're talking about the Champions League, so I'm happy here.

'There's a great bunch of lads here, the fans have been tremendous and I think we can achieve something special this year so I can't see why I would think about going somewhere else.

'I think we've been pretty consistent this season, the team spirit's been good and everyone believes that we can stay there (fourth).

'If it doesn't happen we'll try and be positive and think how we've done so well up to now, but hopefully if we keep it going it will happen.

'If it doesn't happen then it would be a heartbreak because we've achieved so much. We've moved up a level and for all the young lads, and everyone, it would be great for all of us.'