Football: Spurs' top men call for action

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM'S ENGLAND pair, Sol Campbell and Les Ferdinand, have vowed to lead from the front when the Premiership's crisis club travel north to meet Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

After their flirtation with relegation last term, the storm clouds have already drifted over White Hart Lane just two games into the new campaign. The coach, Christian Gross, may face dismissal if there is not a quick improvement in results, while the chairman, Alan Sugar, has dropped hints that he is ready to sell his 40 per cent stake in the London club.

However, the England World Cup men Campbell and Ferdinand still believe the club can be successful.

"Considering the first two games, morale is unbelievable," Campbell said. "The lads are upbeat and we are training hard. The staff, the chairman, the management and the players will have to pull together. There are a lot of negative people out there - and we have to block those people out and be positive."

Ferdinand also admitted it was time for a united front: "What we have to do now is stick together - the board, the manager, the players, everyone. We are professionals, even though some people have said we have not been playing like professionals. Individually, we've not been good enough. We will all have to work hard as a unit to get some dignity back."

Gross looks set to make big changes to the Tottenham team against Everton. The much-criticised centre-back Ramon Vega is out of action with damaged ankle ligaments, and is likely to be replaced by Colin Calderwood.

Marc Edworthy yesterday joined Coventry City from Crystal Palace for an initial fee of pounds 850,000, plus an extra pounds 350,000 after 60 first-team appearances.

Edworthy was captain and player of the year at Palace last season, but the defender has found himself out of favour with the new manager at Selhurst Park, Terry Venables. The deal will earn the 25-year-old's first club Plymouth Argyle, who sold him to Palace for pounds 350,000 in 1995, about pounds 85,000.

The Leicester City manager, Martin O'Neill, is ready to sign the Belgian right-back, Olivier Suray, from Standard Liege on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.

The Middlesbrough midfielder, Paul Merson, has won his appeal against a pre-season sending-off against Heerenveen in the Netherlands, after the Football Association agreed to reduce his three-match ban to a booking.

The FA's disciplinary committee agreed that the match referee should only have booked Merson instead of giving him a red card, and the England international is now available to play at home to Derby on Saturday.

West Bromwich Albion are giving trials to the two Grenadan internationals: the Caribbean country's captain Franklyn Baptiste, a central defender, and the utility player Anthony Modeste.

WORTHINGTON CUP Second-round draw: Bournemouth v Wolves; Blackpool v Tranmere Rovers; Brentford v Tottenham; Bristol City v Crewe; Bury v Crystal Palace; Sheffield Wednesday v Cambridge Utd; Sunderland v Chester City; Leicester City v Chesterfield; Fulham v Southampton; Sheffield Utd v Grimsby; Halifax Town v Bradford City; Huddersfield Town v Everton; Bolton v Hull; Leyton Orient v Nottingham Forest; Ipswich v Luton; Macclesfield Town v Birmingham City; Derby County v Manchester City; Northampton Town v West Ham; Portsmouth v Wimbledon; QPR v Charlton; Barnsley v Reading; Coventry v Southend; Norwich v Wigan; Middlesbrough v Wycombe. (Ties to be played weeks starting 14 and 21 September).

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