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By ESPN Staff
Feb 24, 2008

Ramos: Spurs deserved winners

Juande Ramos admitted victory tasted sweet after his Tottenham side fought back from a goal down to beat Chelsea and lift the Carling Cup at Wembley.

The victory capped a remarkable turn around in fortunes for Spurs under the Spaniard, who replaced Martin Jol at White Hart Lane just four months ago.

Spurs showed plenty of their new-found fighting spirit to recover from a first-half deficit after goalkeeper Paul Robinson was caught out of position by Didier Drogba's free-kick.

They regrouped for the restart, and following a tactical change when the versatile Tom Huddlestone was sent on for defender Pascal Chimbonda, Spurs were able to level.

The equaliser came from the penalty spot through Dimitar Berbatov after referee Mark Halsey consulted with his assistant and decided Wayne Bridge had handled inside the area.

Ramos, though, also had a slice of good fortune when, at the beginning of extra-time, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech saw his attempted punched clearance bounce back off the head of Jonathan Woodgate - who was the Spaniard's main signing of the January transfer window.

The victory secured a first piece of silverware for Tottenham since they lifted the League Cup back in 1999, a fact not lost of the new manager.

``It is tremendously satisfying to get the trophy, especially for the club and the fans. It has been a long time since success like this,'' Ramos said.

``For a club like Tottenham Hotspur, such as long time seems longer, so it is tremendous.

``Success always comes for everybody - for the players first as they are the ones who carry out the work we do.

``It is not a personal battle [between coaches] - it was simply that Spurs were the better team on the day.''

The former Sevilla manager has brought his winning formula for knockout competitions with him from Spain.

He continued: ``It is always tremendously satisfying to win a trophy.

``This one maybe has a special flavour because was against a team which was supposedly superior to us, similar to when Sevilla played against Barcelona and Real Madrid.

``Perhaps it makes the whole thing taste better. This has been a unique experience and one we hope to repeat.

``For the moment we will enjoy the victory. Next week we are back in the Premier League and we have to concentrate on that, we are also still in the UEFA Cup.

``So it is a case of little by little, but we will see. We are all calmer now that we have qualified for Europe again, which takes some pressure off the club.''

Ramos also admitted he believes that his Spurs side are moving in the right direction.

``The team has been improving in terms of the security and confidence they feel. Today has reaffirmed that,'' he said.

``The players have shown they can concentrate to be serious enough to fight with the best of them.

``They key is not making mistakes and they showed they could concentrate on that.''

Spurs captain Ledley King was the only survivor from the side which lost 2-1 to Blackburn in the 2002 League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.

Ramos was full of praise for his skipper and defensive partner Woodgate.

He said: They had a magnificent game, but this was a case for the team at a whole.

``Woody and Ledley have great experience and were playing against a great team which had the likes of Drogba and Anelka, so they had to concentrate to the maximum.

``We managed our time on the pitch very well and in the end deserved to win this trophy.

``We have been working very carefully with Ledley, when he was not in the team. This was the sort of game which was very important for him to play in.

``He has made a tremendous effort to play in this final and having lost the last time he played in a final, this was a new opportunity for him, which he deserved thoroughly.''

Spurs have been on a fitness drive under their new boss, but Ramos was happy to cut his winning squad a bit of slack for the post-match party.

The Spaniard - who revealed he had shared a celebratory swig of champagne in the dressing room - added: ``It is not a particularly strict diet. It is quite a nice diet. Sometimes it allows them to eat and drink totally out of control.''