Spurs confident of success soon; U-23 coach Ehiogu dies

Tottenham are shocked by the sudden death of Under-23 coach Ugo Ehiogu at age 44.
Tottenham are shocked by the sudden death of Under-23 coach Ugo Ehiogu at age 44.

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur are long overdue for a trophy and will win one either this season or the next, defender Toby Alderweireld said ahead of today's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.

Tottenham, seeking their first silverware since winning the 2008 League Cup, challenged for the Premier League title last season but faded during the last few weeks of the campaign and finished in third place, 11 points behind champions Leicester City.

They are four points behind league leaders Chelsea with six games left this season and Alderweireld is confident that silverware is not too far away.

"With this team, and with the people working for it, we will get a trophy - 100 per cent. If it is not this season, then it will be the one after. We will do everything we can to make it happen this season," he told Standard Sport.

"Even with the disappointment of last season we have kept fighting, and this season we are in an even better position."

WE'RE NEARLY THERE

With this team, and with the people working for it, we will get a trophy - 100 per cent. If it is not this season, then it will be the one after.

TOBY ALDERWEIRELD, Spurs' Belgium defender, who expects his team to win a trophy either this season or next.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has also warned Chelsea that success-starved Tottenham are ready to underline their arrival as a major force.

"If there is one favourite it's more Chelsea because they are on the top in the Premier League," he said as his side bid to reach an FA Cup final for the first time since they last won the competition in 1991.

"I think it's a more experienced team than us. Our players have not won much... But we're in a good moment too. We're a hungry team and we're improving a lot."

Spurs midfielder Eric Dier said that the club's dismal record at Wembley, where they played their home European matches earlier this season, will not affect their performance today.

They won just once in four games at the national stadium as they crashed out of both the Champions League and Europa League.

"I don't think that's going to have any impact on it or make any difference to the game," he said. "I just expect a really good match and we've created a bit more of a rivalry with Chelsea over the years so it will be an interesting game."

However, Spurs were stunned yesterday when their Under-23 coach Ugo Ehiogu collapsed and died at the age of 44.

"It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu," read a statement on the club's official website.

The former defender, capped four times by England, was being treated in hospital after collapsing at the club's training headquarters in north London on Thursday.

Ehiogu, who starred for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough during his playing career, has been on Tottenham's coaching staff since 2014.

Tottenham's head of coaching and player development John McDermott said: "Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel at the club.

"Ugo's immense presence will be irreplaceable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gemma and his family."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs confident of success soon; U-23 coach Ehiogu dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe