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English Premiership

Spurs worried about penalty form

BOLTON, February 15 – Tottenham first-team coach Joe Jordan admits his players will have to start practicing their spot kicks more often after another miss consigned them to an FA Cup fifth round replay with Bolton.When Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen saved Tom Huddlestone’s second half penalty to secure a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday, it was the fourth penalty out of six this season that had been missed by Spurs.

England forward Jermain Defoe was relieved of the duties after taking his total of misses to six from 10 attempts in the 2-2 FA Cup fourth round draw with Leeds last month.

The only Tottenham player to have converted a penalty this season is Robbie Keane, who scored in the 5-0 win over Burnley and the 4-0 victory over Peterborough but has now joined Celtic on loan until the end of the season.

Keane also missed in a 2-0 League Cup win over Everton, while Defoe was thwarted in a 2-2 Premier League draw at Goodison Park.

Kevin Davies gave Bolton the lead and after Defoe equalised with his 21st of the season, Huddlestone missed the chance to seal the tie.

So far, their wastefulness has only cost Harry Redknapp’s side those two points and forced them to play a couple of replays but Jordan acknowledges that it is an issue that needs to be resolved.

"We have not been too lucky with penalties. Tom does it differently in training when he puts power into his penalties," Jordan said.

"But he tried to place it. But when a penalty is saved you have to give credit to the keeper.

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"We have had a terrible season with penalties that have counted against us.

"At Everton we were 2-0 up and it got back to 2-2 and we missed a penalty – and there have been other occasions as well. So we need a bit more practicing, I think!

"We lived dangerously in the first 45 minutes at Bolton we didn’t play particularly well.

"But it was different in the second half and we should have been going away with a victory."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle, who is already without defender Gary Cahill due to an arm injury, is concerned that Zat Knight could miss Wednesday’s game at Wigan with a calf problem.

They now face a vital run of matches, with two games against Wigan, and games against fellow strugglers Blackburn, Wolves, West Ham.

While Coyle was frustrated at having to include a replay in that crucial period, he has promised his team are still desperate to progress.

Coyle said: "I thought our level of performance was of a high standard and if we continue to play like that, it will lead to a lot of results and points and we go into real cup finals from Wednesday.

"None of us wanted a replay but we’re in the hat and who is to say that we can’t go down there and win the replay."

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Coyle is also confident that Johan Elmander will start scoring goals after the Swede wasted a number of opportunities against Tottenham.

The forward was the club’s record signing when he arrived in an eight million pounds deal from Toulouse in 2008.

He has managed just four goals this season, with only two in the Premier League, but Coyle insists he is making a vital contribution for Bolton.

He said: "I think Johan Elmander was outstanding and I said to him at the end that he might be trying too hard but he was hard working in the game and once he’s in there he just has to show that level of composure.

"It’s repetition. Hit the target and if they save them, all good and well but the more often you hit the target, the more it results in goals for you."



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