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01 October 2023

Spurs hoping for good Friday in FA Cup test


Tottenham Hotspur hope to end an unusual and troubling week with victory in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night when they make the short journey to Championship side Watford.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has been on the front and back pages this week, with his angry reaction to Tottenham's 3-2 loss at Manchester City followed by coverage of his ongoing court case on tax evasion charges.

With Redknapp otherwise occupied in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, Tottenham's assistant manager Kevin Bond has been overseeing training alongside coaches Joe Jordan and Clive Allen at the club's base in Chigwell, Essex.

As they have done in previous FA and Europa League matches this season, Spurs are expected to use Friday's game to give starts to fringe players.

That was particularly the case for the 3-0 win over Cheltenham in the third round which saw starts for Jake Livermore and Danny Rose as well as substitute stints for John Bostock and Tom Carroll.

But the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor could not play against parent club Manchester City last week could mean the former Arsenal forward is given the nod up front at Vicarage Road.

Allen, who reached the FA Cup final as a player with both Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers during the 1980s, made it clear he believed the FA Cup was a trophy Tottenham could win.

"It has been a kind draw in the sense that a lot of Premier League teams have been drawn against each other and it's a game that we obviously feel we can win," Allen said.

"It's going to be a very interesting FA Cup, there's opportunities there for teams to progress and that's exactly what we want ourselves.

"The worst thing of all is watching the draw for the next round on the Sunday and not being involved in it.

"That's one of the last things that you say to the lads as they're going out of the dressing room, that we want to be in the hat, and we'll definitely be giving them that message on Friday."

Tottenham will certainly be regarded as the favourites to progress as Watford are currently 18th in the Championship and Hornets manager Sean Dyche, who was part of the Chesterfield side who took Middlesbrough to an FA Cup semi-final replay in 1997, thought so too.

"We are looking to give a good account of ourselves and a performance, which is really important," he said.

"It is a tough task ahead, we are under no illusions of the power Tottenham have as a side. In the Europa League games, they changed seven or eight players and still looked a real force.

"They could change the team at will and that does make it difficult for us. But you go into every game and plan accordingly to try and win it. So our main thing is to give a performance and once you do that, who knows?"