Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Enable Hoddle to Exorcise His Ghosts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Enable Hoddle to Exorcise His Ghosts

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN CURTIS

THE relief on Glenn Hoddle's face was clear to see. After eight months, the Tottenham manager had at last wiped out the memory of the most humiliating night of his career.

Last February, Hoddle saw his Southampton side, 3-0 ahead at halftime, collapse under the weight of a sustained assault as Tranmere scored four times to book a place in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

The omens for his return to Prenton Park were not good. Only 10 days earlier, Hoddle had watched Spurs allow champions Manchester United to recover from three goals down to run out 5-3 winners in the Premiership.

But Tottenham produced the perfect response and, at the same time, provided Hoddle with the chance to exorcise the ghosts of that Southampton defeat.

Spurs sailed through to the fourth round of the Worthington Cup with goals from Teddy Sheringham, Darren Anderton, Gus Poyet and substitute Sergei Rebrov.

A delighted Hoddle said: "The performance was absolutely spot on. It was a great result because Tranmere was a tough place to play, especially after what happened to us against United.

"This tie was a potential banana skin and I can't praise the team enough.

Our defensive side was excellent and we got the ball down and passed it around. We knew what our task was and I can honestly say that apart from the second half against United and one part of our game against Blackburn this season, we have never let ourselves down.

"Perhaps we will get our rewards later in the season. Realistically, we can only win the FA Cup and the Worthington Cup to get into Europe. We are not yet ready to win the Premiership, so our ambition this season is to go all the way in this competition."

Spurs were given a helping hand against their Second Division opponents when referee Phillip Dowd adjudged that Mickey Mellon had fouled Sheringham in the 19th minute. …

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