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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 9, 2008

Spurs keeper Robinson ready for defining month

Paul Robinson is preparing himself for the month that could define Tottenham's season, starting with tonight's Carling Cup clash against rivals Arsenal.

Spurs will then face Chelsea at the weekend followed by the FA Cup replay against Reading and Premier League clashes against Sunderland, Everton and Manchester United.

There is also the return leg of the Arsenal tie, with a place in the Wembley final next month at stake.

'We've got Arsenal, we've got Chelsea, we've got Arsenal again,' said the Spurs goalkeeper. 'We have got Sunderland at home who are scrapping for their lives. So it's a big month for us.'

Spurs need to muster their first win over Arsenal since 1999 if they are to feature in the final - and Robinson is aware they also need to address their problems in defence.

Juande Ramos' men have looked vulnerable at the back, which has not helped Robinson's personal form, and the 28-year-old has called for a huge effort at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

'We need to be strong,' he said. 'It's a tough game against Arsenal. It's a re-run of last year's semi-final and we need to shore up at the back. We know that, we have worked hard on it and it's starting to come.

'But it needs to come quickly because we have got a tough month coming up now.'

Spurs missed a golden opportunity when they faced Arsenal at the same stage last season, going 2-0 up before eventually losing in extra-time.

Midfielder Jermaine Jenas is desperate to settle the score.

'I remember last year, I have sore memories of that and we want to change it to the opposite feeling after that outcome,' he said.

'Against teams like Arsenal and Manchester United it doesn't matter if you are two or three up, if you don't keep going they will punish you as they always think they are still in the game.

'We have to be positive, the tie is the other way around this time and that might put a different swing on things with being able to bring them back to the Lane for the second game - that may help.'

Midfielder Didier Zokora is on international duty with Ivory Coast and will miss tonight's clash, while Tom Huddlestone is suspended and Chris Gunter is cup-tied.

Younes Kaboul (ankle) and Darren Bent (knee) are doubts, while Gareth Bale (foot), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) and Anthony Gardner (ankle) are out.

Spurs announced last night they have officially ended their pursuit of Rangers and Scotland full-back Alan Hutton.

The north London club had been looking at the 23-year-old but it was reported that the player rejected them last week.

A Spurs spokesman said: 'We have made it clear that we have no further interest in Alan Hutton.'

Last week's bid was thought to be in the region of £8million but terms were never agreed between Spurs and the player.

Meanwhile, Ajax defender Urby Emanuelson is set to stay in Holland, ruling out a move to Spurs.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane but made his decision after speaking with former Spurs midfielder Edgar Davids.

'Edgar told me it was a great club, but that I should not join Spurs,' Emanuelson told Sportweek magazine.

'I have thought about what he said and I think he is right.'

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