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Rovers 0 Spurs 1


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Rovers 0 Spurs 1.

With all due respect to Norwich, Man City, Birmingham and Fulham, Saturday's game against Spurs was going to be the first real challenge for Rovers, since their 4-0 defeat against Chelsea and it did show what a difficult task Mark Hughes has on his hands.

In those previous games the team had shown an improvement in work rate, but they never really showed enough creative ability to kill off teams and this was once again the main problem against Spurs.

Rovers had plenty of possession, and whilst there may be an excuse that Spurs came with a clear plan to defend in numbers, there was no creative edge or ideas in the Rovers team capable of making a break through, with the strikers having to battle for every ball.

This has been the crux of the problem all season. Rovers don't have a player with the imagination to provide that bit of magic that will split a resolute defence, nor a proven goal scorer. Whilst Dickov will cover every blade of grass and he must be every defenders nightmare, he doesn't have that killer instinct in front of goal, unlike Spurs who had Keane, who was capable of a making a lethal strike give a half chance.

Robinson in the Spurs goal only had one save to make all afternoon, which was a quick turn and shot from Gallagher at the start of the second half. Robinson's quiet afternoon was the opposite to Friedel who had to save two Defoe attempts and one from Mendes.

The build up to Keane's goal just 10 minutes into the second half was a delightful move, even though it started with a mix up between Ferguson and Tugay, resulting in Brown collecting the ball in his own half, to go past Johansson and Todd before driving the ball across the penalty area to Keane, who clinically drove the ball home past the helpless Friedel.

To be honest Spurs out thought and out played the Rovers, who huffed and puffed but never looked as if they would break down a resolute Spurs defence.

Looking at individual Rovers players, Johansson proved once again that although he's a capable stopper in the centre of defence, he's definitely not a left back, and more worrying is his indecision in laying off the ball.

On Saturday's showing Gallagher's inexperience showed and was never in the game, continually being dispossessed of the ball, he only managed one shot on goal before being replaced by Bothroyd in the second have.

If any player deserves praise, then it would have to be Andy Todd , who had another solid game in the centre of defence. It there was a failing, it had to be his wayward shot at the Spurs goal that ended in row z.

If there is any consolation to be taken from Saturday, it had to be that the team below us didn't pick up points. However we cannot rely on that happening every weekend.

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Short (Matteo 85), Johansson, Reid, Ferguson, Tugay (Thompson 65), Emerton, Dickov, Gallagher (Bothroyd 56).

Subs Not Used: Flitcroft, Enckelman.

Booked: Dickov, Tugay, Thompson.

Tottenham: Robinson, Kelly, Naybet, King, Atouba, Pedro Mendes, Brown, Carrick, Ziegler (Redknapp 73), Defoe (Kanoute 88), Keane (Gardner 77).

Subs Not Used: Pamarot, Fulop.

Booked: Naybet.

Goals: Keane 56.

Att: 22,182.

Ref: M Dean

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