Football: Klinsmann backed by Ferdinand

THE turbulent internal politics at Tottenham took a fresh twist yesterday when the club's pounds 6m striker, Les Ferdinand, sided with his attacking partner, Jurgen Klinsmann, in the unseemly public row over the best role for David Ginola.

Klinsmann has been at odds with the Spurs coach, Christian Gross, because he felt that the Frenchman was being played out of position and belonged on the wing. That led to an unseemly spat between the two, with the German striker announcing he would quit the north London club in the summer.

Yesterday Ferdinand, who played alongside Ginola at Newcastle before both players joined Spurs in the summer, added his support to Klinsmann's view.

"I think Jurgen mentioned the fact that David would probably be better on the wing, because that is where he feels we are going to get most benefit," Ferdinand said. "At the moment, David is playing fantastically well in the middle of the park but the forwards are not getting much service.

"I haven't scored that many goals this season, Chris Armstrong hasn't scored many goals and nor has Steffen Iversen. Jurgen has come over and he hasn't scored many goals, so there must be a problem with the supply to the front men."

Ferdinand said he felt Klinsmann was acting in the best interests of the team and that it was not his intention to cause disruption during a relegation battle. "I am sure that Jurgen was acting as a result of his own frustration and would not want to upset the team just for the sake of his own personal gain," he said. "Like he said, the coach has his ideas about how we are going to play games and what teams are going to win games.

"We are all professional and although people may not agree with team selections at times, we know we have got a relegation battle on our hands and that is what we have got to sort out.

"One of the frustrating things for Jurgen is that he hasn't been able to form a partnership with any of the other strikers," Ferdinand added.

"I haven't had a chance to form a partnership with him yet but I have started training again and hope to be back in the fold next week."

Tottenham, meanwhile, have appointed the former Notts County manager and coach to the Vietnam national side, Colin Murphy, as their new youth academy director.

TENNENTS SCOTTISH CUP Semi-final draw: Falkirk v Hearts; Rangers or Dundee v Celtic (Ties to be played weekend of 4 or 5 April).