Ledley King demands more from Tottenham


Tottenham captain Ledley King has warned his team-mates that they cannot afford to keep repeating the kind of abject defensive display that has seen them concede eight goals in their last two matches.

Spurs have kept pace with both Manchester teams for the majority of the season but they now find themselves 13 points off the Barclays Premier League summit after following up their 5-2 mauling at Arsenal with a 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United yesterday.

The Londoners are now resigned to scrapping for a third-place finish with the Gunners and Chelsea, who trail them by four and seven points respectively.

Harry Redknapp's men dominated for large parts of yesterday's match but lost thanks to a header from Wayne Rooney, who headed home unmarked in the first half, and two goals from Ashley Young - both of which came as a result of shoddy defending.

An early season wobble aside, Tottenham have been excellent at the back this term, with King performing well alongside the outstanding Younes Kaboul.

The 31-year-old does admit that the squad's defensive displays against Arsenal and United have not been up to scratch, however.

"You're not going to beat teams like United if you're not concentrating and it was a bit of a lesson," he said.

"You can't fault the work rate and we gave a good account of ourselves for the majority of the game but if you fall asleep at vital moments, you get punished.

"To allow them a free header in the six-yard box on the brink of half-time was disappointing. It shouldn't be happening.

"We lifted ourselves but we went to sleep on a throw-in for the second goal."

Spurs face a tough trip to Everton next weekend before their crucial game at Chelsea and they also have to overcome Stevenage in their FA Cup fifth-round replay at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

King, whose chronic knee problems mean he will sit out the Stevenage game, has called on the squad to bounce back from their recent dip, although he knows that achieving Champions League qualification will be difficult.

"There's tough games all the time because there are teams in the league now that are fighting for the league, fighting for European qualification, and fighting against relegation," he added.

"It will be a dogfight until the end. Every team wants to pick up points and we're the same. We want to try to finish the season on a positive note.

"We've got a chance to get through to the next round of the FA Cup this week.

"We have to pick ourselves up during this week, be ready for that and keep going."

One of the positives to come out of yesterday's defeat was the performance of Jake Livermore.

The midfielder, playing due to Scott Parker's suspension, dictated play well in the middle of the park in what was just his fifth league start.

The 23-year-old was disappointed with the result but delighted to play against one of his childhood heroes Paul Scholes.

"He's one of those players that you look up to when you're a kid," Livermore said.

"It's brilliant to play against those sort of players and test yourself. If we had won I would have asked for his shirt."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas