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By ESPN Staff

Levy hits out at Jol compensation claims

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has issued a statement denying that a compensation package has been agreed for Martin Jol to leave White Hart Lane.

Jol's position as boss has appeared under threat since Spurs officials met Sevilla coach Juande Ramos last month, and Levy was linked with a move for Jose Mourinho last week when the 'Special One' left Chelsea.

With Ramos understood to be staying in Spain for the time being and Mourinho ruling out a move to an English club as his 'next step', there are no obvious candidates to take over should Jol depart.

The mess at the club since the start of the season has created the impression of the Dutchman merely keeping the seat warm, yet Levy insists there has been no crisis meeting since the draw against Bolton left them in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Levy said: 'There has been no board meeting, let alone any emergency board meeting, and reports that we have agreed a compensation package with Martin are wholly inaccurate - we have not even discussed the subject and there is no reason to do so.

'We will not allow ourselves to be side-tracked or undermined by external agendas or media hype. Our focus is on winning games.'

Jol has been told to aim for the Champions League this season but winning a cup looks the more likely route to success at the moment, and they face Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup next.

Jermain Defoe's place in the pecking order has contributed to a campaign characterised by internal problems, and the striker could be recalled after getting left out of the matchday squad for the Bolton clash.

Gareth Bale is also in the reckoning for the third-round clash at White Hart Lane.

'We've got a few options when it comes to the starting line-up, Aaron Lennon is fine and fit for selection, along with Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale,' Jol said.

'We will make some changes, but we will always field a strong team.'

Jol's tactics and his failure to keep Defoe happy has been one of the criticisms he has faced.

The Dutchman argues that Defoe started more league games than Robbie Keane last season but he clearly favours Keane and Dimitar Berbatov for important games, and Darren Bent has added to the competition.

Spurs played 21 cup games last season and Jol was looking at following the 'big four' by making sweeping changes for Carling Cup games to help league form this time around, yet any victory will be welcomed as Spurs have only beaten Derby and Anorthosis Famagusta so far in the current campaign.

'It was not the easiest of draws for us, but we are at home and that is what you want,' he said. 'For us it is important, we want to get into the next round with a win at the Lane in front of our supporters.'

An injury to Mido means Jol is unlikely to be reunited with the striker he persuaded to stay in January before allowing him to go before the transfer window closed in August.

Mido, whose parting shot at Spurs was to claim it was a club rife with 'politics', is joined on the sidelines by Julio Arca but Jol expects a stern test.

'Middlesbrough have got a good team and have a tremendous track record in developing young players, but they also have considerable experience in the side,' he said.

'If you look at Stewart Downing on the left, he will chip in with 10 or more assists, while Jonathan Woodgate is a great leader at the back, with George Boateng providing the experience in the middle.

'We have got home advantage, but that doesn't mean anything if you don't play well and create chances. We have conceded seven or eight easy goals this year and if we can cut that sort of thing out we will do well.'