Spurs look to keep another clean sheet, against Hull City at White Hart Lane


Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - Page 18

Tottenham Hotspur will look to maintain their impressive defensive record when they face Hull City in the Premier League at White Hart Lane today.

The north London side, currently fifth in the table, just missed out on a Champions League place last season and are desperate for a top-four finish that would secure a place in the next edition of European club soccer’s elite tournament.

Best known for their attacking play, Spurs have kept 11 clean sheets in 14 games so far this season.

“We defend as a team and it’s great to have clean sheets for the confidence of the defenders and the goalkeeper,” Spurs centerback Jan Vertonghen said.

“The midfield and strikers give us a lot of pressing, and we do well as a team,” the Belgium international added. “Most of the defenders are the same as last season, we’ve adapted to each other and everyone does his job, and that’s important in the Premier League.”

Sunday’s match is to see former Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone returning to White Hart Lane following his pre-season move to Hull.

“Tom is a fantastic player as we all know,” said Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played alongside Huddlestone at Spurs. “I saw at first-hand last season just how good he can be, his passing and vision is unbelievable, and if we allow him too much time, he will find his targets and cause us damage.”

“He and Jake Livermore have done really well for Hull, they’ve come in to their midfield and been almost ever-present, and I’m sure their performances are one of the reasons why they have made a decent start to the campaign,” he added.

Newly promoted Hull are ninth in the table, five points adrift of Spurs.

They are without first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor after the Scotland international suffered a thigh injury.

As a result, former Newcastle ’keeper Steve Harper is set to make his first league start for the Tigers.

Hull manager Steve Bruce was confident the 38-year-old veteran would not be overawed by the occasion.

“This is the reason we brought Steve in. He has got an abundance of Premier League experience and we are lucky that we can call upon somebody like him,” Bruce said.

Harper, a pre-season arrival, added: “If the chance comes my way, I’ll look forward to getting some games in. My last Premier League game was for Newcastle in May, so it will be great to be back involved.”

“That was part of my reason for coming here, to stay involved in the Premier League and maximize my chances of getting an opportunity in this league. Hopefully that will come along on Sunday [today],” he said.

“Injuries do come along at some stage and that gives opportunities to other people,” Harper added.