Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jol: Don't Wind Up Fiery Besiktas Fans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jol: Don't Wind Up Fiery Besiktas Fans

Article excerpt


MARTIN JOL has ordered his Tottenham players not to do anything stupid to wind up the notorious Besiktas fans tonight.

Spurs start the UEFA Cup group phase with a tough match in Istanbul and Jol is worried about his players doing anything which could provoke crowd trouble at the Inonu Stadium.

The Turkish club were charged with misconduct following a Champions League match against Chelsea in 2003 after they bombarded their players with missiles.

Head coach Jol insists it is vital his team keep their cool to avoid any repeat and said: "All the players are used to playing in big games, but encounters in Turkey can be different because the fans are very fanatical. I will be telling them not to do any stupid things and keep a cool head.

"I know what happened with Chelsea, but we have to do what we have to do. We have to play this game, but I don't know what to expect. Their fans are capable of being very fanatical but it is something we have to be prepared for."

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson was in the Leeds squad when two of their fans were stabbed to death in 2000 before their Champions League match with Galatasaray.

The England international returned to Istanbul seven months later to make his European debut for Leeds against Besiktas and knows what his Tottenham teammates will face.

Robinson said: "It was daunting, especially after what had happened before.

I knew it would be a cauldron and an intense atmosphere.

Nothing can prepare you for it.

The noise level is ridiculous.

"But it's a great city and I love coming to play football here. The people are so passionate about their teams. I thrive on that. The full stadium gives you that extra boost."

Jol expects defenders Ledley King and Michael Dawson to be fit enough to make the starting line-up for the Group B clash after knee and concussion problems respectively, but Aaron Lennon has suffered a setback with his knee injury.

The winger, who made his first appearance for six weeks after having knee surgery against Aston Villa on Saturday, is struggling to make the substitutes' bench. …

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