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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 23, 2008

Cup final to keep Berbatov at Spurs, for now

Dimitar Berbatov looks set to remain at Tottenham until at least the end of the season after vowing to fire the club to Carling Cup glory next month.

The 26-year-old's agent suggested at the start of the January transfer window that he would welcome a move if the right offer was made but Spurs have insisted they want to keep their key players.

Head coach Juande Ramos admitted at the weekend that keeping the likes of Berbatov at White Hart Lane means getting to cup finals, which Spurs did in style on Wednesday by emphatically ending their miserable run against rivals Arsenal.

Rather than looking for an escape route to the Champions League, Berbatov is now anticipating his first appearance at Wembley. He has also talked of a club that 'can go places' under Ramos.

'I am happy, everyone is happy,' he said.

'This will be my first game at Wembley. Everybody is excited. The boys have told me it is a legendary stadium and I am looking forward to seeing it. I will relish the moment.

'I know we can achieve a lot. Sometimes we underestimate our ability and what we can do, but the Arsenal game is an example of what we can do when we believe in our quality and play like we did.

'The victory is important and we showed that if we play like that we have a great future.'

Berbatov has been widely tipped to join a Champions League team in the summer and Ramos himself has described the striker as the finest player not to currently feature in Europe's top competition.

Spurs' head coach has a policy of not wanting unhappy players at the club but Berbatov has been impressed with Ramos' work since taking over from Martin Jol at the end of October.

The Spaniard has been credited with changing training regimes and putting an emphasis on fitness and conditioning, with results taking a turn for the better.

'I am not surprised how quickly he has turned it around,' Berbatov said. 'He is a great man. Obviously he is a great coach and proved himself in Spain.

'Now he is here but the way he talks with us and works with us we know we can go places.'

The culmination of Ramos' work resulted in the 5-1 demolition of their rivals on Tuesday evening, a victory that left Arsenal players turning against each other.

Assistant boss Gus Poyet revealed that motivation stemmed from suggestions Spurs had a psychological problem against Arsene Wenger's side.

'There were a few interviews this week and they helped us a lot,' said Poyet. 'They said we were scared of them, so many things. The players proved they have no fear of anyone.'

Michael Dawson added: 'You see comments from players from other teams and it gives you a lift.'

Poyet also believes a slight delay in traffic before the match, allowing players to experience the mood of expectation from fans around White Hart Lane, played a significant part.

'After that they were ready,' said Poyet.

It was Spurs' first victory over Arsenal since 1999, the same year that they last won a trophy.

'It was only a matter of time with the players that we have,' said striker Robbie Keane.

'We are destined to go on and achieve something. With the manager's guidance we've been able to do that - but it's only a job half done, we have to go to the final and it would be great to win.'

Spurs ended a miserable run against Chelsea at the same stage of the 2002 competition but went on to lose to Blackburn in the final, and skipper Ledley King is determined to go all the way this time.

'We've got to make sure we do the job in the final this time,' he said.

'I think we have a belief we can win things. We have a head coach who has won things before, and I think that rubs off on the team. We believe we can win this competition.'

Jermaine Jenas feels a trophy would be an important part of the club's development.

'Winning something takes you to the next level,' he said.

'That proves how good we are. With the manager we have, he's been there and done it, and he's taken that step. Hopefully he can help us take that step together.'

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