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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Ramos rues Keane & Berbatov exit

Former Spurs manager Juande Ramos
Ramos was in charge at White Hart Lane for exactly a year

Former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos has admitted the loss of star strikers Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov was a major factor behind his sacking.

The departure of the pair, who scored 90 goals in their two seasons together, left Spurs short of firepower.

"The exit of Berbatov and Keane, important for their human qualities and scoring ability, was too hard a blow for the squad," he said.

Ramos was sacked at the weekend after Spurs' dismal start to the season.

Despite the club's desire to keep hold of their best players, the summer transfer window saw Keane join Liverpool and Berbatov go to Manchester United for a combined total of more than 51m.

"We had a hard pre-season which stopped us from working with the tranquility summer preparation needs," added Ramos in a statement on his personal website.

Although the club spent 14m on Roman Pavlyuchenko shortly before the close of the transfer window and took United youngster Frazier Campbell on loan, Spurs have scored just seven goals in nine Premier League games so far this season.

Ramos's last game in charge was a 2-0 Uefa Cup loss to Udinese, and on Saturday he was replaced by Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp with the club languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table.

It was a sad end to a reign which saw Ramos guide Spurs to victory in the Carling Cup last season, qualifying for Europe in the process.

And hopes were high for this season with the arrival of big-money signings Pavlyuchenko, David Bentley, Luka Modric and Giovani Dos Santos in the summer.

"The young age of some of the signings, despite their quality, means they needed some time to adapt and mature, which because of the urgency of the competitions they have not yet been awarded," said Ramos.

"All this triggered a situation which I hope will be turned around as soon as possible because the club and fans deserve it.

"Therefore, now that I say goodbye, I want to express my enormous gratitude to the Spurs fans for their excellent welcome, their respect, their kindness and even their constructive criticism.

"They have made me happy for many months and I'm only sorry I haven't been able to offer them more great evenings like the Carling Cup win at Wembley."

Ramos said he "knew the unwritten rules of football" and understood why Spurs let him go, but looked back on last season with pride.

"We arrived with the highest hopes to a team in the relegation zone, in a situation similar to that which is found at the moment, and we had a good start which saw us get to the middle of the table," he said.

"Furthermore, we were able to qualify for Europe when it seemed almost impossible. We achieved it with a great effort on the part of all the team despite the enormous difficulties that we had.

"We also achieved the difficult challenge of lifting a title, which, after nine years without tasting success, was an enormous joy for all the club and the fans.

"For this, we can catalogue last season as tremendously successful."

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see also
Sherwood ponders Spurs job offer
27 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Tottenham 2-0 Bolton
26 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
26 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football
Tottenham sack Ramos for Redknapp
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Levy explains decisions to fans
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Redknapp and Ramos in photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football

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