Jol unflustered by Spurs slide ahead of Euro tie

September 27, 2006

Tottenham coach Martin Jol insists he is not feeling under pressure to succeed in Europe despite his side's poor start to the new domestic season.

Jol faces a tricky return leg against Slavia Prague at White Hart Lane on Thursday night with his side ravaged by fresh injuries.

Defender and captain Ledley King (knee) is doubtful, but strikers Jermain Defoe (ankle) and £10.8 million striker Dimitar Berbatov (groin) are definitely out, along with midfielder Edgar Davids (ankle).

The injuries have left Jol with just two fit strikers - Robbie Keane and Mido - as they look to progress to the group stages of the competition at the expense of a youthful Slavia side.

Spurs have become one of the biggest spenders in the Barclays Premiership under Jol's managerial tenure but the Dutch coach said he does not feel under any pressure to succeed.

'No, because if you look at the figures, you will see we didn't spend a lot more than we got in,' he said.

'You can invest in Pele or Ronaldinho but if they are not there..? What can you do? You can say we spent a lot on Dimitar Berbatov but he is not playing.

'If everybody is on board, believe me, we have got a good side. Against Prague, a lot of players will be out but I still feel confident.'

Spurs have failed to score in the Premiership for seven hours and 13 minutes but they did manage to notch a vital away goal in Prague, courtesy of midfielder Jermaine Jenas, to give them a slender advantage going into the return leg.

Despite the goal drought in the league, striker Keane remains confident it is only a matter of time before they start scoring on a regular basis.

'We know we have players in the team who will always score goals. It's just a matter of getting that first one and then to kick-on from there,' he said.

'I've gone past the stage of worrying about not scoring. When I was a kid I used to worry about it too much and end up having nightmares about it.

'The older you get, the more experienced you become. I've played the game a long time and sometimes these things happen in football.

'We know we are not performing as well as we would like to. But we also know we are doing the right things. In football you need a bit of luck and at the moment we haven't had that.

'I want to score goals and that hunger has not gone. But when you are younger and you don't score, you think things are against you. I've been through it before and so have other players and, once you get that first one, the goals will start flowing.

'I feel very good and quite sharp and it is just a case of getting a tap-in or something like that to set me off.

'As strikers, we take the responsibility for scoring because that's our job. But the players we have in the squad - the talented midfield players - they know they need to score goals as well.

'There is no frustration among the strikers. If you get frustrated then things can get even worse.'