Football: Gross holds crisis talks with players

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR players were yesterday invited to a clear-the- air meeting with their coach, Christian Gross.

The Swiss coach, who has been warned by his chairman, Alan Sugar, that he needs to improve results or face the sack, held a series of frank discussions with every player in the dressing room about what is going wrong at the White Hart Lane club.

Gross is believed to have told the players that they must put more emphasis on team play and must cut out errors in defence. He apparently also spoke to the Frenchman, David Ginola, about the need to put more effort into defending.

Tottenham are desperate to improve morale before their match with Everton at the weekend, for which they may make changes. The defender Ramon Vega, much criticised in recent games, is definitely ruled out with an ankle injury.

Marc Edworthy yesterday joined Coventry City from Crystal Palace. The defender said he is relishing the prospect of playing in the Premiership again, and admitted that life had turned sour at Selhurst Park under Terry Venables.

Coventry will pay an initial pounds 850,000 - plus an extra pounds 350,000 after 60 first-team appearances - for Edworthy, who was captain and player of the year at Palace last season. But the defender found himself out of favour under the new regime at Selhurst Park, after he was asked to play in a midfield role.

"It was disappointing the way things turned out," Edworthy said. "Terry Venables was looking at different things and tried me in midfield, where I was bit out of my class, when I am a defender who can play as full-back, sweeper or centre-back. If you can't get into a First Division side, then you are going backwards." The 25-year-old had four seasons with Plymouth Argyle before joining Palace in 1995 for pounds 350,000.