Ramos demands swift improvement
Tottenham head coach Juande Ramos has revealed his determination to turn the club's season around following their worst league start for 53 years.
Ramos was in the spotlight after fans turned on him during the defeat to Portsmouth at the weekend, although there was no suggestion from within the club that his position is insecure, only that they were all determined to kick-start their campaign.
Spurs' efforts to do so start in Poland against Wisla Krakow on Thursday when they look to reach the group stages of the Uefa Cup by defending a 2-1 lead, then they face Hull at the weekend in their attempt to climb off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
"It's a situation we need to change quickly," said Ramos.
"I don't like it and we have to work hard to change the situation and myself, the coaches and the players are prepared to do that.
"It's only possible if we work very hard, have confidence in our ability and the team is together."
Ramos admitted morale was low on the coach home from Pompey but has told his players that it is down to them to drag the club up.
"Only the professionals on the pitch can do it," he said.
"All the people want to help but I repeat, only the players and management can change this situation."
Spurs have won just three league games since lifting the Carling Cup in February - against West Ham who had lost 4-0 in their previous two games, against Portsmouth who were concentrating on the FA Cup final, and against Reading who eventually were relegated.
This season they have suffered without the threat of strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane.
"We need to improve a lot," admitted midfielder Jermaine Jenas after the defeat to Pompey.
Darren Bent has scored three times this season in his attempt to fill the void left by Spurs losing their best two players, although he has failed to link with £13.8m signing Roman Pavlyuchenko.
"For the one-and-a-half games that they played together, it did not work for us," said assistant boss Gus Poyet.
"They are the same type of player, so it is difficult for them to play together."
On-loan Fraizer Campbell, the only other striker available to Ramos, was playing in the Coca-Cola Championship last season, highlighting the Spaniard's problems with his squad.
Former boss Martin Jol wanted a left-sided midfielder in his squad but had to play right-footer Steed Malbranque on his unfavoured flank before the Frenchman left in the summer.
Brazilian Gilberto has struggled to adapt, with Ramos' problems on the left increased with a recent foot injury to Gareth Bale.
Ramos would also welcome a defensive midfielder to protect his defence and £16.5million signing Luka Modric. Sporting Lisbon's Miguel Veloso or Portsmouth's Lassana Diarra, who was subject of a deadline-day £15million bid from an undisclosed club, have been suggested as possible targets.
Jenas admits the failure to get the right start with the players available has affected confidence.
He added: "The manager gets very angry at certain things, but he also has a very level head. The players know that we have not been up to our usual standards.
"The confidence is never going to be sky-high when you are not winning games, and one or two players are maybe lacking a bit of that confidence."
In contrast to Spurs' plight, Jol is currently top of the Bundesliga with Hamburg, despite losing his best player in Rafael van der Vaart.
This time last year Dutchman Jol was fending off questions on how he could accommodate four strikers - they also had Jermain Defoe - but Ramos is now struggling to field his favoured 4-4-2 formation and went with one in attack against Pompey.
Ramos told official website tottenhamhotspur.com: "I prefer 4-4-2 but as I have explained before, it's possible to change. I prefer 4-4-2 but sometimes you have to look at the situation."
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