Graham seeks player in Mackay mould

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George Graham has revealed the player he would most like to have in his current Tottenham team - the former White Hart Lane legend Dave Mackay.

George Graham has revealed the player he would most like to have in his current Tottenham team - the former White Hart Lane legend Dave Mackay.

Tottenham face a tough task tonight at home to the German club Kaiserslautern in a Uefa Cup second round, first leg, tie and Graham stressed the importance of having "naturalborn winners" like Mackay in his team.

"Dave Mackay is my favourite all-time player because he had so much ability," said Graham. "People only saw the hardness in him. But he had everything and he wanted to win everything. It is frightening to think what he would be worth today.

"I like winners. That is why Roy Keane is one of the best midfielders in the game because of his competitive attitude and winning mentality, allied to his ability. You get people like Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit at Arsenal who are similar - they are winners."

Kaiserslautern, who lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich last weekend, are 12th in the Bundesliga having conceded 20 goals in their last nine games, while Spurs occupy fifth spot in the Premiership, but Tottenham's German midfielder Steffen Freund has warned his team-mates to beware a backlash from the visitors.

He said: "They may have lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich on Saturday, but Thursday is another game, and I know with German teams that when they lose their last game they are determined to have a positive reaction.

"Kaiserslautern are a big team in Germany. They won the league for two years and last year they played in the Champions' League. They have some world-class players, such as Youri Djorkaeff and Olaf Marschall up front and captain Ciriaco Sforza pulling the strings behind, and these will be two very hard games."

In the first round against the Moldovan side Zimbru Chisinau Spurs put the tie beyond doubt by winning their home leg 3-0, but Graham expects round two to be a different story.

"We'd love to score a lot of goals in our home leg, and that will be our target," he said. "But it isn't a necessity because these ties are usually decided in the second leg. They have got some quality players. They are strong at the back and physically powerful in midfield, but our players love playing in Europe against unknown teams, and I love pitting my wits against foreign teams."

Graham has injury worries over Chris Perry (stomach), Chris Armstrong (calf) and Tim Sherwood (groin).

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