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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 11 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 14, 2008

Spurs fitness coach to step up new regime

Tottenham fitness coach Marcos Alvarez admits there will still be work to be done on players losing weight while the club chase silverware this season.

Spurs have been revived under head coach Juande Ramos since October - thanks largely to the fitness regime led by Alvarez - and despite their wretched start are in the hunt for two trophies.

They face Slavia Prague in the UEFA Cup tonight in the first leg of the last-32 clash, and they are also preparing for a Carling Cup final.

Although there has been plenty of progress, Alvarez wants to see further improvement.

He told Spanish Radio station Cadena SER: 'When we arrived we realised straight away that the team was carrying excess baggage.

'I made a very simple comparison with the Sevilla team that we had been working with and, taking into account the size of the players, the team was basically 100 kilos over.

'So I immediately talked to Tottenham and we set the wheels in motion to change things. They have now lost between 40 and 50 kilos. Now getting the rest off is the most difficult part but we have also turned a lot of fat into muscle.'

Other changes under Ramos include Radek Cerny replacing Paul Robinson in goal. Cerny is set to make an emotional return to Slavia tonight - this time as first choice ahead of the England keeper.

Cerny, who has been on loan at Spurs from the Czech Republic side since January 2005, was in the squad last season when the two clubs met but was an unused substitute, as he was for most of the time since edging ahead of Robinson last month.

The 33-year-old has the extra motivation of playing for a contract beyond the end of the season and has done little wrong so far with his run in the side timed perfectly to meet his old club.

'Last year I was here on the bench and that was a great experience for me still,' he said. 'I feel in good about my form and achievements this year.

'If I play it will be a very special experience for me and I will try my best as I do in every match.'

Ramos has Didier Zokora back from African Nations Cup duty and Jonathan Woodgate back from domestic suspension.

'We have a manager who has won the trophy twice in the last two years, so he knows how to win it,' said Zokora.

Michael Dawson is out with a hamstring problem that may rule him out of the Carling Cup final, but Ledley King travelled.

The Spurs captain was undergoing a separate training session in the gym at the team hotel last night and his knee will be assessed today.

'I have not decided yet, it will depend on the progress of his knee,' Ramos said.