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Rovers 1  Spurs 0


Alan75
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In an uneventful dire game where Spurs main objective had been to get a draw, neither keeper was tested in the first half, with Rovers main threat of pumping high balls in to the Spurs area were easily dealt with by the towering Spurs defenders.

Souness started the game with the same defensive line up as last week at Old Trafford and gave 19-year-old striker Paul Gallagher his debut Premiership start. With an injury to Flitcroft the midfield comprised of Emerton on the right, Tugay and Ferguson in the centre and Johansson taking up the left hand side berth.

In an attempt to break down the resolute Spurs defence Souness brought on Reid for Johansson at half time, giving Rovers a bit more width, which resulted in  more  attacking threats during the second half.

Shortly after half time Souness was sent to the stand by Graham Poll, for alledgedly suggesting that Poll was a Spurs supporter.

With around 15 minutes left of the game Gresko broke down the left and tried a speculative shot from 30 yards, which deflected off Spurs defender Stephen Carr into the right of Keller's net.

Rovers : Friedel, Babbel, Todd, Short, Gresko, Emerton, Ferguson, Tugay, Johansson (Reid 45), Gallagher (Jansen 83), Yorke.

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Baggio, Enckelman.

Spurs : Keller, Carr, Richards, Gardner, Taricco, Dalmat (Mabizela 65), Anderton, King, Konchesky (Ricketts 82), Postiga (Zamora 65), Keane.

Subs Not Used: Doherty, Burch.

Yellow cards :Gardner.

Attendance: 22,802

Referee: Graham Poll

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Very pleased with the result, especially since the teams around us had won as well.

Surprised how poor Spurs were, they looked good going forward against Villa last week on Sky, more so when Villa went 1-0 up.  Before the game I was a little worried that if we didn't control midfield, the likes of Dalmat and Ricketts would punish us with thier pace and skill. When I saw our team sheet I was even more concerned - I don't think anyone else in our midfield can break up opponents play as well as Flitty.  

Fergie and Tugay are both capable of getting stuck in when required, but Flitty always leads the way in this department IMO.

The defence were surperb, especially Short and Todd.  Todd was very composed and refused to be rushed into making mistakes, whereas Short restricted Keane's chances.  Everytime the ball was given to Keane, Short was there with him, preventing him from turning and going forward.  Keane is the danger man for Spurs and Short kept him quiet for most of the game.  Greasko's goal was very fortunate, but just what we needed - great to see how much it meant to him, running half the length of the pitch to celebrate with the bench !

Personally, the only complaint (and it's a small one at that) I would have is that we didn't seem to run at them with the ball, particularly in the 2nd half.  On more than 1 occasion, as soon as we broke into their half we slowed down and tried to pass our way into the spurs area.  It would have been  nice to see Reid and Emerton have a go at getting to the byline and trying to stretch their defence.  By slowing down we encouraged Spurs to get back and re-shape.  We can play some great football at times, but need to learn how to be more direct when on the counter-attack.  

Gallagher again was very lively, especially when drifting out wide to put some excellent crosses into the box.  His confidence rubs off on the rest of the team IMO and it's great to see him getting stuck into the game and trying to make an impact

posted by percy on Nov. 30 2003, 13:32

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