Jol admits misfiring Spurs are running out of time

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The Independent Online

The Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol admits he and his players are now up against the clock to turn their season around after their dismal start. Spurs have one victory from six Premier League games and while a clash against unfancied Anorthosis Famagusta in the Uefa Cup would usually offer a chance to rotate his squad, Jol needs to make certain of victory tomorrow.

After starting poorly last season Spurs recovered to finish fifth and reach the latter stages of three cups, although there are expectations to break into the top four and close the gap on north London rivals Arsenal this time around.

"Our start is the same as last year and to get back on track we need good teamwork and to cut out the errors sooner rather than later because we don't have the time," Jol said.

"We have to combine our development as a team with getting the right results and that is what we will do."

Jol's position has been under scrutiny since the start of the season and particularly after Spurs officials met Seville manager Juande Ramos last month.

Ramos is in London this week as his side take on Arsenal in the Champions League, the competition Jol has been asked to get Spurs into.

The gap between Spurs and Arsenal was highlighted on Saturday when both sides had chances to win the game but Arsène Wenger's men showed a clinical edge, while Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent missed glorious chances for the hosts.

"Dimitar Berbatov will do better next time and he has said that himself," Jol said. "He knows and Darren Bent knows that they are top players and, that being the case, they have to do better and I'm sure they will do."

Jermain Defoe did not make the squad for the Arsenal defeat and Jol has urged the striker to seize his chance to impress if he is given an opportunity against Famagusta.

Chairman Daniel Levy wants the England striker to sign a new contract to avoid a repeat of the situation the club faced when Sol Campbell ran down his contract and left for nothing, although Defoe is not currently getting a game for Spurs.

"What I said to Jermain was that they [the strikers] have to push each other and when he gets his chance he has to take it," said Jol. "It is very healthy for the squad. I don't expect him to be happy about it, but I am not here to make people happy as I have to make tough choices.

"Like I said, I have named two strikers on the bench in the past, but it makes your job harder because you have to name a midfield player who can cover both wide and central positions."

The Dutchman added: "There are other players who will be disappointed, but the main advantage of this situation is that everybody must be on their toes for when they come back into the reckoning, which could be at any time."

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