Tottenham assistant Steffen Freund impressed with youngsters


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The Independent Football

Tottenham assistant boss Steffen Freund felt Wednesday's 3-0 Capital One Cup third-round victory at Carlisle was a good demonstration of the strength in depth the London club's squad now has.

Although Spurs have a considerable number of players out injured, they were achieved a comfortable win at Brunton Park against their spirited npower League One opponents with a team showing eight changes from the Barclays Premier League victory over QPR last weekend.

Academy graduates Adam Smith and Ryan Mason were handed starts, along with Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson, the latter appearing for the first time since Andre Villas-Boas was appointed Tottenham boss over the summer.

Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson, two summer signings, opened their accounts for the club with headed goals in the 37th and 89th minutes respectively, either side of a decent solo effort in the 53rd minute from 21-year-old winger Andros Townsend as Spurs booked a last-16 trip to Norwich.

Freund said: "We brought a few young players in and we believe in them all.

"Adam Smith was fantastic at right-back and Ryan Mason has been scoring in the development squad, so we knew he can play. Then in the centre of midfield Tom Huddlestone is back after his injury, Michael Dawson is back.

"There are young players coming through which is nice to see, and it is especially nice to know that we have someone (Townsend) behind Gareth Bale who can jump in and create something.

"Don't forget, we have several injured players and still had a fantastic, strong team on the pitch."

One notable absentee from the squad was another new recruit, Hugo Lloris.

The France goalkeeper has only played one Europa League game since his move from Lyon and with Carlo Cudicini starting against Carlisle, Heurelho Gomes named as back-up on the bench and Brad Friedel still seemingly very much in charge of the number one jersey, the debate about Spurs' stoppers shows little sign of easing up.

Asked about Lloris and his potential involvement in the matches to come, Freund said: "I think at the moment we are just going from game to game.

"It is not the right moment to talk about individual players because we had a fantastic performance as a team.

"Let's see who is available for (Saturday's league clash with) Manchester United."

Freund won the League Cup in 1999 as a Tottenham player and he feels the current squad may well already be starting to think about Wembley.

"Eight Premier League sides are already out, and there are only two games and then we are in the semi-final," Freund said.

"It is special to go to Wembley and I think the players will start to think about that now."