Santini puts aside referee jibe

Bill Pierce
Friday 01 October 2004 00:00
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Jacques Santini, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, could not confirm if the Football Association warned him over his comments about the referee Peter Walton, but insists the matter is finished.

Jacques Santini, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, could not confirm if the Football Association warned him over his comments about the referee Peter Walton, but insists the matter is finished.

The former France coach implied that Walton had colluded unfairly with Manchester United in his side's defeat at White Hart Lane last Saturday.

The FA has made it clear it is unhappy with Santini's remarks that he saw Walton and United officials "laughing and smiling together" at half-time following Ruud van Nistelrooy's contentious match-winning penalty in the 42nd minute .

Santini was expected to receive an official letter reminding him of his responsibilities about making inflammatory remarks in public.

But, when Santini was asked if he stood by his words, he said: "For me it is finished. It is not my problem. I made my comments after the game, and now just the next game is all my job."

Santini said he would love to have the depth of talent that Sir Alex Ferguson has in his squad. United were the the first side to beat Spurs under the Frenchman's management this season.

His own squad is only just returning to full fitness. Sean Davis (knee) and Thimothee Atouba (leg) are both set to return to the squad tomorrow at in-form Everton.

But Michael Carrick (ankle) and Freddie Kanouté (hamstring) will miss the match, though they should return for the next fixture at Portsmouth after the international break.

Santini added: "I do not have 25 international players like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea do. It would be something to have the same players together for training sessions, but every week we have injuries and that makes things difficult. United can put in five new players after winning against us and then not play Smith, Ronaldo, Brown, Keane, Scholes, and win a Champions' League match 6-2.

"When I accepted this job, I knew there would be a lot of problems but this is a new team and the past is not for my opinion because it is the past.

"Now we have a new team and we have managed to get defensive organisation for a good start to the season. When they have played together a little more, it should be possible to add offensive organisation as well."

The Spurs captain, Jamie Redknapp, has urged his team to bounce back after losing their unbeaten record.

Redknapp said: "We can't let things go now. If this is a different Tottenham, we have to go and do well rather than just in some games. We have to keep our form going."

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