Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday November 13 2008
The perilous state of the Premier League, with regards to climbing the tale and then falling again, has never been more keenly illustrated than the last game against Newcastle.
With the game delicately balanced at 1-1 a goal for Newcastle would have left us in the relegation places, as it turned out a goal for us lifted us to tenth place.
With Spurs visiting Craven Cottage this coming weekend, we could see a similar change about.
In the build up to the game, this point has been emphasised by Roy Hodgson who has told his players to just focus on the game they`re playing otherwise the pressure on them will increase if they worry about those aforementioned league positions.
Speaking to the official site, Roy had this to say,
"Our task is to keep the players focused on one thing and one thing only.'
'That is the game they've got to play against the opposition - and try to put out of their minds the league position.'
'Individually we can still get more out of our players but we'll probably only really start to do that when the pressure comes off."
'Unfortunately, you see it all the time at the moment because players are being constantly reminded of the perilous situation they find themselves in, and it affects the quality of their performance."
'The way we started the game against Newcastle, the first 20-25 minutes, I thought we looked like a quality team.'
'But it's so easy to lose that because getting the victory overrides the performance - it's going to make for a lot of exciting games in the forthcoming matches because there are 10-12 teams involved in this situation."
'We're just going to have to accept that after every game we're either going to be told by the media to get our passports ready and stamped for Europe or we're going to be relegated and we better get ready for the Championship.'
Anyone any clues as to how long it`ll take for this situation to change or are we destined for the mother of all seasons?
Date:Thursday November 13 2008
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