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Ramos feels the heat as Spurs slump again

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Sep 2008

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Juande Ramos insisted his job was not under threat after angry Tottenham fans turned on the Spanish coach during a dismal 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth.

Ramos's side have lost four of their first six matches and are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table following their worst start in 53 years.

Inevitably it was former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, sold by Ramos in January, who plunged his old boss further into the mire with a first-half penalty and a key role in Peter Crouch's goal after the break at Fratton Park.

Not for the first time this season, Spurs looks woefully short of confidence and cohesion.

The final straw for the 2,000 supporters who had travelled down from north London was Ramos's decision to replace Roman Pavlyuchenko with Darren Bent in the closing stages.

Chants of “you don't know what you're doing” echoed around the away end but Ramos was adamant he retains the full confidence of chairman Daniel Levy and his board.

“Absolutely. We speak regularly and everyone is aware of our delicate position,” Ramos said.

“Whether I survive is something for the chairman and the board to decide but I'm not hurt (by the fans' abuse). What hurts is not winning matches.”

Ramos takes his team to Poland on Thursday with a slender 2-1 lead in the UEFA Cup and a defeat against Wisla Krakow would increase the pressure on the former Sevilla coach.

Ramos admitted: “We are in a complicated situation and nobody seems to help us when we need it.

“Portsmouth scored from a penalty today but in the same kind of incident we were denied a penalty – the same as against Wigan last week. In critical moments we are not getting these decisions.

“We have been playing with two strikers in most games but we used just one against Newcastle and it worked better. Bent had played every minute of the six previous games and needed a break.

“It is true that when you come here and feel up for winning that it is very disappointing when you lose, but the players know we have another game in another competition on Thursday and we must recover from this very quickly.”

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp was delighted with his side's display but instead of talking about Defoe and company he had to respond to an admission from owner Alexandre Gaydamak that he could be persuaded to sell the club.

“You show me a club that's not up for sale if somebody offers fantastic money,” Redknapp said.

“I don't know if the owner here wants to sell but I bet every club has a price on it.”

Redknapp was scathing in his criticism of Tottenham fans who targeted obscene chants at former Spurs captain Sol Campbell.

It is eight years since Campbell, now captain of Portsmouth, riled Tottenham by joining Arsenal and Redknapp said: “He was fantastic. Nobody likes being called filthy names and other filthy abuse.

“It's not right. What has that got to do with coming to a game? For a start there are kids there.”

Ramos's side were set up in damage-limitation mode with five in midfield but that just invited pressure and they cracked in the 33rd minute.

Glen Little whipped in a free-kick from the right and Jermaine Jenas rashly stuck out his arm to control the ball.

Referee Mike Dean immediately pointed to the spot and Defoe stepped up to lash the penalty past Heurelho Gomes.

He made a point of keeping his celebration to a minimum as a mark of respect to his former supporters packed behind Gomes's goal.

Portsmouth went further ahead in the 68th minute with a superbly-crafted goal.

Defoe turned Michael Dawson on the edge of the area and picked out Armand Traore wide on the left. The on-loan Arsenal youngster drove in a low shot that Gomes could only parried towards Crouch, who rose to head into the empty net from close-range.

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