Jol claims Cup success has led to demise in league

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The Independent Football

Martin Jol last night blamed Tottenham's disappointing League form on their cup success. Having finished fifth in the Premiership last season the London club are now in the bottom half of the table, but they remain in the Uefa Cup and FA Cup, in which they meet Fulham tomorrow. Spurs also reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

"There are good things this season," Jol said. "If I was weak I'd want to swap with last season. But we only had 40 games with no cup competitions [Spurs play their 41st game of the season tomorrow]. I'm sure if we weren't in all the cups we would be sixth in the league."

Tottenham have not beaten a top-flight team since Boxing Day, but Jol insisted the club's long-term future was bright. "I would love to be here in a couple of years' time and do a Ferguson or a Wenger, because I feel we are capable of that," he said. "We've got young players and experienced players - they are not as good as Arsenal and Liverpool but it is only a matter of two or three players. We are closer than ever, it's only a few little pieces.

"This is my first spell that I'm really unhappy with. We have to turn around this spell because this is not Spurs. But I've got no fear, my fear is something happening to my little daughter, who is four next week."

The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, has reminisced with Jol about the team which won the FA Cup in 1991. The Dutchman said: "They won three out of the last 24 matches of the season, but they won the FA Cup."

* Tottenham have responded to Robinho's comment that he would not wish to join them should he leave Real Madrid, as they are "not a big club", by stating they have never enquired about the Brazilian.

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