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Sep 17, 2008

Ramos: It may take Spurs 15 games to gel

Juande Ramos has told Tottenham fans it may take up to 15 games for his fragile side to return to form.

Spurs are reeling from their worst start to a season in 35 years and sit firmly rooted to the foot of the Premier League after collecting just one point from four games.

Ramos will look to register his side's first win of the campaign when they entertain Wisla Krakow in the UEFA Cup tomorrow, and he admits the last minute scrap for players during deadline day means it has taken time for his team to gel together.

The Spaniard is confident of turning things around but it may not happen immediately, especially as the club failed to sign more than one striker before the transfer window closed.

"Yes, I am worried because we need points at the moment,'' said Ramos, who conducted his press conference in English, addressing any concerns over how he communicates with his players.

"To only have one point is a difficult situation to be (in). I'd say to the supporters that they need to have confidence in the team. We have a good squad and, I'm sure in the future, we'll be better.

"I don't know about top four, but anything is possible. There are 34 matches left to play.''

During their three defeats and a draw, Spurs have used different formations and new signings such as Luka Modric and Giovani dos Santos have struggled to settle, while £17million signing David Bentley has been deployed away from his familiar station on the right flank.

Modric has a knee injury and will not face Wisla and Spurs will also be without cup-tied duo Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko, who were signed on deadline day and have barely trained with their new team-mates.

"We need to improve, little by little,'' Ramos added. "It could be 10, 12 or 15 (games). No limit. I don't know.

"The fans, myself, the club - we want the best performances quickly, but we need to be patient. This process takes time.''

Spurs' dismal start has put sporting director Damien Comolli, who scouts and signs players for Ramos, in the spotlight as the head coach goes into European competition with just Darren Bent and Fraizer Campbell as his available strikers.

After losing Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov over the summer, Ramos wanted another forward for the campaign.

"Everyone is together in the club,'' Ramos said. "The decisions are made together. Not one person is responsible. Whether it is winning or losing, we do things together.

"I think in some positions we are better than last year, in others we are worse. The squad is the squad.

"We have a good squad and I'm sure the team will go up.

"For me, the big problem is adaptation and the need for time. The worst thing for us was losing Berbatov at the last moment and we didn't have time to sign a new player. But business is business. It was impossible.''

Although Spurs' boss has asked for time, the first leg against Wisla has been billed as a clash that could turn the season or deepen the crisis.

The tie against the Polish side could yield a place in this season's group stages and given their start in the Premier League, winning a trophy could be Spurs' route back into Europe.

There will be no possibility of taking the knockout competitions lightly to concentrate on the league.

"I never think about losing,'' Ramos said. "In my head, that's not possible. In football, you can win or lose. But I'm not thinking about losing.

"We want to win all the matches, but it's harder in 38 league games to finish above Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. In the cups, you can win five or six matches and win a trophy, so that is easier.''

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