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 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 21:37 GMT
TV demolition thrills Strachan
Saints boss Gordon Strachan
Strachan could not fault his players
Gordon Strachan admitted he was pleased the whole nation was able to see how good his Southampton team can be after their 4-0 demolition of Tottenham.

The FA Cup third round thrashing was shown live on BBC One and viewers saw the south coast club in scintillating form.

"I'm glad this match was on television so that people around the country could see it for themselves and see how good we were," Strachan beamed.

"I have no hesitation in saying it was our best performance since I have been manager here.

"We have beaten Arsenal and Newcastle at home and Chelsea away in my time here but this was the complete performance.

"This was as good as it gets because we attacked when we had the opportunity and kept the ball when we needed to.

"After we had beaten Spurs in the League here three days ago I asked my players to show greater variation and this is what they supplied. I can't ask for more.

"Above all we have been showing tremendous mental strength because it is the same 14 or so players who are performing like this every week.

"At half-time we were only 1-0 ahead and I felt it was not enough with someone like Robbie Keane in the opposition.

"Robbie is a special player and I think he must have made about 80 per cent of their chances so I said to my players at half-time that if we got a second goal we would win the game, and that's what happened."

In-form Southampton striker James Beattie grabbed his 14th goal in 15 games during the rout.

Saints hero James Beattie
We played well - maybe we startled Tottenham and stopped them playing

Goalscorer James Beattie

Strachan said: "James Beattie shows great self motivation and his confidence is growing all the time.

"He even chased a player from the halfway line to make a defensive tackle which shows the sort of player he is becoming.

"My only problem is that I must protect these players because we are using the same group constantly and there is no question of rotation here because our staff is not big enough."

Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle made no attempt to disguise how poorly his side had played.

"I can't express how disappointed I am," said the former Saints coach, who endured a miserable return to his old club.

"There was not enough fire in our belly and we did not pass the ball around in the manner I know we can.

"We cannot get away from the fact that we were beaten by the better team. We did not deserve anything from that performance and we must bounce back as soon as possible.

Glenn Hoddle (left) and his right-hand man John Gorman
Hoddle and his assistant John Gorman were astounded

"But first we must reflect on the result and I can tell you that in the dressing room there are a lot of very upset players."

Hoddle challenged his players to bounce back in the Premiership.

"We must make sure that when we play Everton at home next weekend we have got this result out of our system.

"I am feeling sick at the moment because I know we can do better.

"I tried to change things at half-time and bring on substitutes who I hoped might turn it around because at that stage we were only one goal behind but it did not improve."

 BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"Rarely can a Spurs team have performed so poorly"
 Southampton's James Beattie
"It was nice to score one at the end"

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