Ramos faces tough decision over King fitness

October 23, 2008

Tottenham head coach Juande Ramos will make a late decision on whether Ledley King will face Udinese tonight - when his participation would effectively rule his skipper out of the must-win clash against Bolton.

King will struggle to play twice in a week as he recovers from knee surgery, meaning a UEFA Cup game against the side second in Serie A would deny Ramos his best defender in Spurs' bid to lift themselves off the bottom of the Premier League this weekend.

"Both competitions are important,'' said Ramos. "The most important is the UEFA cup because this is our next game. On Friday, the most important is the Premier League.''

Spurs' worst start to a season in their history has been complicated by King's injury and Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko being cup-tied for UEFA Cup action.

Pavlyuchenko's appearance in the defeat to Stoke at the weekend has caused a stir in Russia, as his national team thought he was still suffering from an ankle injury.

"He has an injury but was in the team,'' Ramos admitted. "In the match against Stoke we were losing and in the last 20-25 minutes we needed to use him to get a draw. He didn't finish in the best condition.''

The defeat at Britannia Stadium also led to Michael Dawson being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for his reaction to being sent off, and the centre-back has requested a personal hearing to deny the charge.

Alan Hutton escaped with just a yellow card in that match following a clumsy challenge on Thomas Sorensen, who said he was a millimetre from losing his sight following the incident.

Hutton expressed his disappointment that Sorensen had criticised him.

"It's harsh,'' said the Scotland full-back. "I said I was sorry and I totally mean that. I'd like to say sorry again. Hopefully he'll be back as soon as possible.

"I've been in that position before myself and I would never go out and try to harm anyone. It was one of those things. I've received bad tackles, it's a contact sport, I don't say anything about it.''

Hutton will make his debut in Europe this season following his own foot problem, but Tom Huddlestone has an injury and did not travel.

Sporting director Damien Comolli, who has been tipped to leave the club, made the trip to Italy but chairman Daniel Levy is thought to be away on business.

David Bentley, meanwhile, has given his forthright verdict on Tottenham's start to the season, admitting he and his team-mates had no idea what they were doing.

Bentley told talkSPORT magazine: "Its been shocking, its been a bit s***. It's been a difficult start, especially for me.

"I wasn't enjoying it. It's been difficult out on the pitch. We've not been together - we didn't know where people were running, what people were doing.

"But I think we're slowly starting to get settled and people are becoming more confident.''