Jol forgets Defoe row to focus on fight for fourth

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The Independent Football

Tottenham's head coach, Martin Jol, will put the club's public row with Liverpool to one side when they face struggling West Bromwich at White Hart Lane tonight.

Spurs and Liverpool have been at loggerheads since Rafael Benitez claimed the Londoners want to sell their England striker Jermain Defoe. The Liverpool coach's comments sparked outrage from the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, who described Benitez as "unprofessional".

Benitez refused to apologise and Spurs have contacted the FA Premier League although they have yet to make an official complaint and the two clubs have now started a dialogue aimed at resolving the issue.

Jol will be relieved to return to football matters against Albion because he knows victory will help to increase their chances of finishing in fourth place. Struggling West Bromwich - one of Jol's former clubs as a player - are perilously close to the danger zone but the Spurs coach believes they have the necessary quality to avoid the drop.

"West Brom is a difficult team for us," he said. "We played against them earlier in the season and lost 2-0 and last year was a draw both home and away. They won't fear us because there is no fear in the Premiership.

"Of course there is always pressure, because they have to win this game - they need the points. We also need the points. Last year they were in a worse position than they are now. They were the first team ever who were bottom at Christmas and they still escaped. They are better now. I think they have a good team. They will be fine."

Jol will include winger Aaron Lennon in his line-up after the teenager scored his first goal for the club in the 2-0 win over Birmingham last weekend. The Dutch coach, who has ruled himself out of the running to become Guus Hiddink's successor at PSV Eindhoven in the summer, believes Lennon has a glittering England career ahead of him - but not just yet.

"I don't want to exaggerate because I think it is too soon," he said. "But I can imagine people saying that he's so quick and intelligent that he could play for England, maybe within the next two years."

West Brom's captain, Kevin Campbell, is expected to have recovered from a calf injury but midfielder Diomansy Kamara is rated doubtful. Hungarian captain Zoltan Gera could be amongst the substitutes.

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