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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Jol determined not to get sidetracked by UEFA Cup

Tottenham boss Martin Jol admits progress in the UEFA Cup could affect Premiership form - but he wants his young British players to keep the European buzz going around White Hart Lane.

Spurs will have the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup in sight if they defeat Club Bruges tomorrow, although they have an important league game against Chelsea on Sunday.

A full house is expected for their Belgian opponents, who they defeated in the 1985 campaign with Clive Allen proving the difference, and the clash is another stage of development for the club's promising youngsters.

'It's not only a learning process for the younger players, but it is one of the advantages - the more they play the more experience they will get,' Jol said.

'The important thing is that we are going from one stage to another so that we will be in the top three of the group, then we are in the next stage, then in the quarter-finals. We want to be in Europe for as long as possible.'

He added: 'It could affect our league chances, in the past there is evidence that it happens - but I would like to be in Europe, in the league, in the final of the Carling Cup and the final of the FA Cup.

'Of course it could hinder your ambitions but you want to be there and if you want to be a good club you have to compete at all levels.'

Jol's side impressively defeated Turkish side Besiktas in their opening group game, with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen also coming up in the campaign getting fans excited over a return to European away games.

'Everybody is talking about it and emailing each other, the supporters all want to be in Europe,' said Jol.

'Turkey was a bit different because people were worried to go there, but for Germany we will have maximum capacity, as we did with Slavia (Prague).'

Jol may be tempted to rest players for the Bruges clash, although he could continue with playing Aaron Lennon on the left flank as he did in the goalless draw against Watford last weekend when the winger missed four chances.

'If you have (Cristiano) Ronaldo, every time you expect him on the right but now when you play Manchester United you don't know,' Jol said.

'If they have a right-back who is not the quickest you can put Aaron Lennon on him, but if he cannot perform on the flank it is a waste of time but I'm sure that he can, and he did.

'Every good player with a right foot can play on the left. Lennon will never create a chance to finish on the right because he has to create a cross.

'If he is on the left with a right foot you go in and have your shots, he had four.'

Along with Lennon, Tom Huddlestone is another young English player Jol has faith in, and former Derby player Huddlestone has blossomed at the start of this season after Spurs lost Michael Carrick to Manchester United and then Didier Zokora to a mild case of malaria.

'Every time you go on the pitch you have a point to prove to keep your place for the next game, Huddlestone said.

'I'm similar to Michael so I thought I would play more but the manager brought Didier in and no one can take their place for granted.'

Jol explained why he has invested so much faith in British players, insisting they have a mentality which foreign players often do not have.

He said: 'Two years ago when I started we said we want to have a British spine with British talent and everyone - and the board and chairman - thought it was a good idea, and it proved to be a good idea.

'You play so many games here that you have to have the right mentality, and the other players will get the same mentality if they see that, and that is why I prefer British players.'

Meanwhile, Spurs have agreed terms to sign Norwegian striker Dag Alexander Olsen, subject to a medical.

The 17-year-old is set to join from Norwegian second division side SK Gjovik Lyn.

Sporting director Damien Comolli told the club's website: 'Alex is a talented player, very, very quick and has an impressive goalscoring record in what is his first season in the first team at Gjovik Lyn.

'He came here for a week's trial and impressed both our Academy and senior staff and we are delighted to sign him for our Academy and development squads.

'Alex had offers from many top clubs both in England and across Europe but he showed a real desire to play for Spurs.'