Coleman on Spurs Win

Monday 1 November 2004


"Zesh is a great athlete; his attitude is incredible. He studies the game, he studies his own performance, he trains like a demon, he never misses a session and he's always asking for advice. He's always asking questions, not just of me but of all his fellow professionals as well.

"I remember when he was seventeen and I was still playing. Academy kids don't clean boots anymore - which I think is a bad thing, mind you - and he came up to me and said, 'I play in your position, can I look after your boots?' From then on he used to watch me play and ask me questions every week.

"He's so into the game, and for a twenty-one-year-old he's brilliant. He doesn't go out, he doesn't drink, he rests, he trains very hard and he just loves football. He's desperate to make it in the Premiership, and these last few performances suggest that he's definitely going in the right direction."


"The crowd did a good job - and he got a knock, poor old Sean! But I've been here since Sean was a kid and I know what sort of character he is, and I've always had a good relationship with him.

"I didn't want him to leave, but he did, and that's all water under the bridge now. Of course the fans were going to give him a bit of stick - he was a big favourite, and then he went to another London club which they're not going to like.

"He's doing a good job for Tottenham - there's no axe to grind with me or with Sean. We shook hands after the game and I wished him all the best.

"He's missed a few games and I don't think he's one hundred per cent fit to be fair. When he is fully fit he's a quality player, there's no doubt about that, and any of our fans will tell you the same.

"When he's fit he makes a big difference to Tottenham. As a midfield player, he's box to box, he can play, he can do the holding role, he can attack, he can tackle, he's a good passer, he's got the lot. He's a good player.


"I think our fans have been better than our performances this season. I said at the start of the season that we wanted a louder reaction from the fans and more noise - they've given us that, but unfortunately for them we haven't given them much to shout about.

"They took a bit of stick at the beginning of the season when we didn't sell out, but the ones who showed up have been brilliant and they have been all season. We didn't take loads to Birmingham on Wednesday night, but the ones who were there sang for ninety minutes.

"We can't ask any more from the fans - they can ask a bit more from us, although to be fair I think they got that against Tottenham."


"I know exactly what we're capable of. But the talking's finished, we've got to start doing it now. We didn't play great on Wednesday, but we got a result, and we did well against Spurs and got the three points.

"We're away at Newcastle on Sunday, and I know this team's quite capable of going there and falling flat on its face. Our consistency is just not good enough and it's going to be a real challenge for us."


"Last year went swimmingly well, and there was no real pressure on me apart from what I put on myself. Nobody expected me or the team to do well. Now the expectations are bigger; we've invested in a few players, some good players, and people are expecting more.

"I won't paper over the cracks and say we've had suspensions and injuries - we haven't been good enough and that's why we are where we are. Although that was a good win against Spurs we're still down there - we're fifteenth and I don't want us to be fifteenth, I want us to be in the top ten.

"Villa last week wasn't the best, and I was starting to think - perhaps the press were right at the beginning of last season! Of course you get those negative thoughts sometimes, and you've got to get them right out of your mind.

"I had a good chat with David O'Leary last week, and Brucie on Wednesday, and it's nice to talk to guys like that and share experiences. It made me feel a bit better and made me realise that I wasn't by myself.

"Every manager's the same. When you win you want to pat the players on the back and rightly so, and when you lose you go home and you think it's all your fault. You're in charge and that's the nature of the job."


"I talked to him before the game and he's a very nice guy; his record in the game speaks for itself. He's building a good team there; a different team from the one we expected. They're a good passing team, very difficult to beat and don't concede a lot of goals.

"After the game we shook hands and he said we deserved it. I respect that."


"The atmosphere is always great; London derbies are fantastic. We've had quite a good record against Spurs recently, now we've got Chelsea coming up. They beat us last year; they didn't hammer us, but we didn't really pose them much of a threat.

"We'll be looking to improve on that in two weeks time."


"There's no decision to make. He's kept two clean sheets, and I've said all along, whoever's got the shirt, if they play well they'll hang on to it. That's the same across the board; Edwin understands that and it's the same for everyone.

"It doesn't matter if it's Edwin van der Sar or Andrew Cole, whoever gets in, if they play well they stay there. Marks's come in, he's kept two clean sheets, I'd be a hypocrite to leave him out and I'm not going to do that."


"He's important to us, the way we play. His energy levels are incredible; he can get forward and is able to get back to help. It's not just his ability, it's his whole personality. The lads warm to him, he's a real team boy and he's a big player for us."