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Keeping Real's slim title hopes alive

Real Madrid

Harry begins Spurs cull by axing keeper coach

After weeks of sub-standard goalkeeping performances the axe has finally fallen at Tottenham Hotspur, not on error-prone Brazilian Heurelho Gomes but on specialist coach Hans Leitert.

The 35-year-old Austrian joined the club in the close season and has been working with Gomes all season, but with the former PSV Eindhoven keeper clearly shorn of all form and confidence manager Harry Redknapp has decided enough is enough.

A statement on the club's official website read: ''We should like to thank [Leitert] for his contribution and wish him well. An announcement regarding a new appointment will be made in due course.''

On Tuesday Redknapp underlined his faith in Gomes and is backing the 27-year-old to bounce back from his recent high-profile blunder last Saturday; in an otherwise tidy display Gomes caught the ball then spilled it into his own net to gift Fulham a goal in the 2-1 away defeat.

The former Portsmouth and Southampton boss explained: ''He's our number one goalkeeper so he's got to do the job - we're relying on him heavily.

''I believe in him and we have to believe in him. Obviously he is disappointed with the weekend but his record tells you he is a world-class goalkeeper.

''He has to bounce back from that and turn in a terrific performance this weekend. I'm sure he'll do that. He's a strong character. It's up to him now.''

Redknapp has two other keeping options in Cesar Sanchez and youngster Ben Alnwick, who is returning from a loan spell at Carlisle, but is expected to stick with Gomes for the forthcoming game at home to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Spurs have confirmed that Luka Modric could be sidelined for two weeks by a groin injury sustained in the defeat at Fulham.

The Croatia international was substituted at half-time at Craven Cottage as Redknapp tasted defeat with Tottenham for the first time.

In a statement the club said: ''An MRI scan has revealed that Luka Modric has suffered a partially torn groin muscle.

''He was forced off with the injury at half-time in Saturday's match with Fulham and is expected to be sidelined for up to two weeks.''


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