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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 12, 2009

King warns Spurs: "Improve or we'll go down"

Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King is under no illusion that the club are in a relegation battle and warned his teammates that they unless they pull together and improve ''we will go down''.

Manager Harry Redknapp blasted some of his players for lacking the necessary stomach needed for a relegation dogfight after watching them slump to a stoppage-time 1-0 defeat at Wigan on Sunday - a fifth Premier League match without a victory.

Spurs started brightly but faded badly during the second half and failed to provide £15 million striker Jermain Defoe the service he needed to deliver a goal on his return to the club after 12 months at Portsmouth.

The north London side have now slipped back into the Premier League's bottom three after the positive influence Redknapp exerted on the squad following his appointment in October now have seemingly deserted that squad.

King, who played his first full 90 minutes since Boxing Day, is in no doubt of the challenge facing his team.

''We have to improve, otherwise we will go down. It is simple,'' declared the centre-half. ''We need people to stand up and fight for each other, and be counted as men and as players. That has not been happening enough, which is why we find ourselves in this position.''

King told the London Evening Standard: ''We are not playing well away from home, but when that happens, you have to work hard and maintain your focus. We are conceding late goals because of a lack of concentration. We are switching off, and that sums us up at the moment.''

Redknapp, who left £15 million man David Bentley on the bench on Sunday, has made it clear he feels the squad inherited from Juande Ramos lacks strength in depth.

While he has more money to spend in the transfer window, the former Portsmouth manager is not certain wheeling and dealing is the answer.

''The club have paid a lot of money for these players because they are supposed to be quality players but they need to show that on the pitch,'' he said. ''We have some players in there who need to do a lot better than they are at the moment.''

Asked if he had plans to bring in replacements, Redknapp replied: ''I haven't got anyone in mind. It is pretty quiet really. Where do you find good players this time of year? It is hard.''

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