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By ESPN Staff

Jol urges Tottenham stars to toughen up

Tottenham boss Martin Jol has urged his players to develop the killer instinct that will see them challenge in the top half of the Premiership.

Defeat at Reading on Sunday ended a 10-match unbeaten run and left Spurs 12th ahead of a tough trip to Blackburn, where Jol wants to see more of a winning mentality.

Tottenham have yet to win away from home in the league - although they beat both Besiktas and Slavia Prague on their UEFA Cup travels - and Jol believes it is a case of being 'strong and tough'.

'On Sunday we lacked the mentality of being strong and wanting to win all the time,' Jol said. 'I don't think we are far off but it is a matter of being tough.

'You can be internationals and it doesn't mean anything if you don't work as a group and do the `dirty work' that needs to be done on the pitch.'

Defeat to Steve Coppell's Reading came just a week after winning against Premiership champions Chelsea, but Jol in not worried by a perceived lack of consistency.

He said: 'People might say we are inconsistent, I don't think we are - only in terms of challenging for the title, but we are not there yet.

'Putting together an unbeaten run creates a degree of added expectation and that is our problem - everybody should expect a lot from us.

'It is the little mistakes we make that cost us on occasions and we have to do better.'

Spurs are unbeaten in their last five clashes against Blackburn but Jol is expecting a test from Mark Hughes' side at Ewood Park.

The Dutchman added on Spurs' official website, www.tottenhamhotspur.com: '(Robbie) Savage and (Steven) Reid have been out due to injury so they have not been able to field their best side, but they work hard and it will be a challenging afternoon.

'If we play our football, be strong and tough like we were in Turkey and Prague, we can do well on our travels again.'

Teemu Tainio could come back into contention for a first-team place soon after returning to training from hernia surgery.