Sacking me would be a big mistake, Jol warns Spurs board

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The Independent Online

Martin Jol believes Tottenham would take a backwards step if they were to sack him and remains confident he is the right man to bring success to the club.

Jol's position remains under threat following just one win in their opening seven Premier League games. After spending nearly £40m during the summer, the Tottenham board were expecting Jol to push the club into the top four this season. But with Tottenham in the bottom three and the board having met Seville coach Juande Ramos over the managerial post at White Hart Lane, Jol knows his days could be numbered. But the Dutch coach refuses to be affected by all the speculation.

Jol said: "The fans know how difficult it is if they change management again. I hope people are realistic – you can get anyone in the world to come, but to do better you must finish fourth.

"I feel the top five was probably more than we would have expected when I started. We are back in Europe, we have a profile in Europe and that wasn't the case before."

Jol can also point to the fact he has helped develop some of the best young players in the English game like Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone.

Jol said: "Michael came from Nottingham Forest, he was fit, came straight in the team and played. I feel it is a good example for other players.

"Against Middlesbrough I played Dawson, 22, [Younes] Kaboul, 21, [Gareth] Bale, 18. That is probably the difference with the big clubs. I feel we have more talented players than any other club."

Meanwhile, Jol remains hopeful that Jermain Defoe can agree a new contract – despite his outburst after being substituted midway through the second half of the Carling Cup game against Middlesbrough.

The England striker has failed to secure a first-team place this season and has so far refused to pledge his long-term future to the club.

But Jol is adamant Defoe still has a big role to play for the club this season. He said: "He didn't want to negotiate last year – nobody sees that. Last year he had more starts than anyone else. It's not my business and Daniel [Levy, the Spurs chairman] is doing it. Of course I want him to sign."

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