West Brom V Spurs at The Hawthorns : LIVE

12 April 2014 08:08
West Brom V Spurs - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Six missing for Spurs

Tottenham will still be without six first-team regulars for their Barclays Premier League trip to West Brom on Saturday.

Roberto Soldado has returned to training following a hamstring issue but will not be fit to travel while midfield pair Mousa Dembele (hip) and Etienne Capoue (foot) are also missing.

Kyle Walker (pelvis) remains sidelined alongside Erik Lamela (back) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle).

Spurs are looking to pick up a win to keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive.

And it is the challenge of taking all three points from The Hawthorns that occupy manager Tim Sherwood's thoughts, rather than the rumours of who could be lined up to replace him in the summer.

"I'm concentrating on the game tomorrow," he said.

"I think those questions are not for me to answer. Its just for me to worry about football matches and hopefully trying to win the next five games for Tottenham.

"That will iron itself out in due course. For me to worry about preparing the team, like I've done this week. We had a good week's training and we're really going to West Brom on the front foot and trying to entertain those great Tottenham fans and get three points.

"The speculation has never eased since I came in. I've always fended off the questions. I don't see a difference from the first hour to now."

Sherwood will be missing several first-team regulars for the trip to West Brom with Roberto Soldado, Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele, Etienne Capoue,Jan Vertonghan and Erik Lamela all sidelined.

West Brom head coach Pepe Mel's hopes of fielding an unchanged side for the first time hinge on midfielder James Morrison's fitness.

The Scot is a doubt with an ankle problem and may be replaced by fit-again captain Chris Brunt, who is back after ligament trouble.

Claudio Yacob (hamstring) is fully fit again and Mel's only other injury is to Zoltan Gera, who will miss most of the remainder of the season with a hamstring problem.

Mel says he is "loving" his job despite admitting the various headaches and controversies since his arrival have made his first three months difficult.

The Spaniard took over from Steve Clarke three months ago but is already finding his future the subject of speculation.

West Brom remain firmly in the relegation scrap, while Mel has had to contend with a string of issues, including reports of player unrest, Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' controversy and departure and bust-ups within the squad.

Morrison's recent confrontation with Saido Berahino, in which the Scot allegedly hit the young forward after the 3-3 draw with Cardiff recently, is the latest problem Mel has faced.

Yet despite the testing circumstances, the former Real Betis boss is happy at The Hawthorns.

"It's normal that when a coach comes in midway through season, it's because a team has problems," he said.

"No team changes its manager half-way through a season if it's winning everything. We've resolved the issues and I think the end to our season will be a good one.

"Each week we've had a different problem but these problems have been resolved. We will have a successful end. All I want is for West Bromwich Albion to be in the Premier League next season.

"It is a difficult job but one I love. I love the emotions West Bromwich Albion fans have shown towards me."

Mel believes victory against Tim Sherwood's Spurs on Saturday could all-but secure survival for Albion, who are five points above 18th-placed Fulham with a game in hand.

"I think that if we win we've nearly achieved it but there will still be five games and 15 points to play for," he added.

Source: PA