Midfielder urges tougher approach

Tottenham Hotspur

Midfielder Tom Huddlestone believes Tottenham need to be more clinical and efficient if they are to repeat last season's success.

Harry Redknapp’s side recorded their highest-ever finish to a Premier League season by finishing fourth in May and will embark on their debuit Champions League campaign next month as a result.

Redknapp has challenged his players to be ambitious and aim for the league title this season and Huddlestone admitted that, in order to do so, they may have to abandon some of their footballing principles.

The midfielder said: “Maybe in previous years that approach to good football has been a millstone around our necks. We have over-played things at times.

“We coped with the dirty side of the game a lot better last year – the stuff teams have to do, such as work extremely hard for 90 minutes, get the tackles in and chase after lost causes. It got us a lot of results.

“There has been a few times when Tottenham did win ugly, but you have to remember the Spurs philosophy of good players playing the game in the so-called right way.

“If teams come to White Hart Lane and try to play football, as Chelsea did, then we can match them. We have to make a big statement for the first game against [Manchester] City. We have to let people know that finishing fourth was not simply down to luck because Liverpool couldn’t get it together.”