Ramos bullish despite Tottenham predicament

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The Independent Football

Juande Ramos today denied he is on borrowed time to revive the fortunes of Tottenham with the north London side currently propping up the Barclays Premier League.

"Until the end of my contract - this is the time I have," insisted Ramos, who accepts his side badly need a victory when they visit promoted Stoke on Sunday.

Spurs, winner of the Carling Cup back in February, have slumped to the bottom of the table after going seven league matches since their last victory.

But their league form is in direct contrast to their achievements in the knockout competitions where they have progressed to the fourth round of the Carling Cup and reached the group stages of the Uefa Cup.

That counted for nothing as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Hull, another newly-promoted side, in their last league match a fortnight ago but Ramos maintains they are not too far away from turning the corner.

"It's sometimes difficult to explain this situation but the team is losing 1-0, 2-1, it's very near the victory," he said.

But he conceded: "In our situation all the matches are very important. We need to win at Stoke. All the games are important because at the moment this is a serious situation for us.

"I'm worried because we want to win but this is a normal situation we have had since the start of the season.

"We are working very hard. We want to finish this situation very quickly."

Regarding the growing speculation over his own immediate future, the Spurs boss said: "No problem. It's normal in football.

"The situation for me is not bad because I have 20 years training. I have had big experiences in good moments and bad moments so this is normal for me.

"When you win you are the best and when you lose you are the worst. This is football. It never always is good and never always is bad.

"Of course I have pressure because I work every day with the team for the next game."

He knows his struggling side will not find it easy to turn the corner against a physical Stoke team.

"It's an important game. Three points are important for Stoke and for us," said Ramos, who is well aware of the discontent of the north London club's fans as they eye the success of capital rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.

"It's curious. The best match for us was against Chelsea, to draw 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.

"At the moment we play the smaller teams and lose so maybe it's better against the big teams," he said.

Ramos, who has club skipper Ledley King available again after further problems with his long-running knee injury, will give Russian international striker Roman Pavlyuchenko every chance to prove his fitness for Sunday.

Pavlyuchenko was originally expected to be out for three weeks after scans showed he had partially torn ankle ligaments during the defeat by Hull but, although he remains extremely doubtful, Ramos refused to rule him out.

"At this time he moment he has little chance because at this moment his ankle is bad and he is training alone. "Tomorrow is the last day for training so then we will see," he added.

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