Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Jol breathes a sigh of relief after Spurs escape with draw

AFP , CARDIFF

Tottenham manager Martin Jol admitted he was relieved to avoid an embarrassing FA Cup exit after his side escaped with a goalless draw at Cardiff.

Jol had watched Premiership sides Charlton and Sheffield United suffer humiliating third round defeats against Nottingham Forest and Swansea respectively and feared his team would also experience an FA Cup shock as Cardiff created several good chances.

But Tottenham, who crashed out at this stage against Leicester last season, managed to avoid becoming the biggest scalp of the round as they held on against their Championship opponents on Sunday and now face a replay at White Hart Lane later this month.

Jol told Sky Sports: "We saw what happened to a couple of other Premiership clubs this weekend, so a draw is not a bad result. It was the maximum we deserved."

"They had a spell when they took the initiative and the last few minutes were worrying because we were thinking back to Leicester, where we lost in the FA Cup last year," he said.

"Even if it was against a Championship side, that doesn't mean anything because as soon as we saw the draw we knew we would be in a big fight here," Jol said, "I was hoping Jermain Defoe maybe would nick one because he had two or three chances but it didn't happen."

"You don't want extra games but we certainly didn't want to lose the game in the last three or four minutes, which could have happened," he said.

Cardiff had failed to win any of their last ten matches but they produced a determined display in rain-soaked south Wales.

Michael Chopra had their best chance when he seized on Lee Young-pyo's weak back-header, but the striker could only push his effort wide.

City keeper Neil Alexander saved well from Dimitar Berbatov and Jermain Defoe, but his Tottenham counterpart Paul Robinson nearly gifted Cardiff a goal as he let Steven Thompson's header slip under his body and just past a post.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones was delighted his side had showed they could compete against Premiership opponents and he said: "I told the players before the game that the Premiership is the division they all want to play in."

"They should be proud of themselves because they did everything I asked of them and more. We matched them in every department," he said. "They worked their socks off and did the football club justice. We didn't want to let ourselves down and we've proved we've got good players."

This story has been viewed 1883 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top