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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 July, 2003, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Hoddle hits out at Pirates
Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle: Upset by tough tackling
Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle criticised the Durban pitch on which his side slipped to defeat against Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Spurs were beaten 2-1 in the latest game of their pre-season South Africa tour, but Hoddle was more concerned about the pitch and the attitude of the opposition than he was about the result.

The former England manager claimed any of his players could have been injured as a result of the pitch or the Pirates' tackling.

And he was also upset at some late showboating by the hosts as the Orlando players teased Spurs by playing keep-ball after going 2-1 up.

"It was unprofessional. They would never get away with that in the Premiership," Hoddle said.

"Skilful football is what we all strive for but it is the end product that counts. If I wanted to see tricks I would have gone to the circus."

Hoddle admitted he was relieved not to suffer any injuries in the match, which saw a Felix Muamba Musasa own goal cancel out Steve Lekoelea's spectacular opener, before Lasley Manyathela struck with a late penalty.

"We were worried about the condition of the pitch and some of the tackles and felt we could have got a bit more protection, but thankfully there are no major injuries," Hoddle said.

He added: "It was a difficult pitch to play on, certainly something we are not used to.

"At this time of year we are looking for good preparation and the different culture and the different style of football is good for us."

Republic of Ireland full-back Stephen Carr, whose handball conceded the late penalty, was involved in a long-running battle with winger Patrick Thwala, which threatened to boil over following some flying tackles by the South African side.




TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR


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