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  Sunday, 24 February, 2002, 17:28 GMT
Souness hails match-winner Cole
Andy Cole celebrates his winning goal with his Blackburn team-mates
Cole was picked out for special praise by Souness
An emotional Graeme Souness expressed his delight as underdogs Blackburn Rovers lifted the Worthington Cup, after beating Tottenham 2-1.

Souness paid tribute to Andy Cole, who scored the winner, and man of the match Brad Friedel, who kept pre-match favourites Spurs out with some crucial saves.

"We're a small club and they're a big club so this is a great day for us," said Souness.

"It was a very tight game, but I thought we shaded it in the second half. They will point to the possible penalty and Brad made a great save."

And Souness fiercely defended Cole, about whom opposing manager Glenn Hoddle was critical during his time as England manager,

Spurs' Les Ferdinand
Friedel saves from Spurs striker Les Ferdinand

"He's a top man," Souness added.

"I've played with Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish and they never scored every chance they got.

"He's a class player - of course he should go to the World Cup."

Souness looked forward to Blackburn enjoying even better fortune in the Premiership, with relegation still threatening.

"We were a bit lucky today but we've not had much luck this season," he said.

"We're going to enjoy tonight and then I hope that we get a bit of luck in the rest of the season."

Adrenaline

Cole, a 7.5m buy from Manchester Utd earlier this season, said the win ranked alongside all those he achieved during his time with the Premiership champions.

"It's a great feeling winning things and I've won a few things at Man Utd, but this is no different," said Cole, who collected his first ever League Cup medal.

"I'm delighted for the club and I feel lucky to have played today."

Veteran Welshman Mark Hughes, who played in an unfamiliar midfield role said he had enjoyed his playing debut at the Millennium Stadium,

When asked how he lasted the full 90 minutes, he replied: "God knows."

"You need a bit of adrenaline, a bit of experience, and a few young legs around you," he added.

But like his manager, Hughes was quick to return the subject to Blackburn's form in the Premiership.

"The main thing now is to enjoy the day and ensure we are in the Premiership next year," he said.

Tottenham's Teddy Sheringham said his side had not played to their potential.

"It was very disappointing not to have been fully on our game today, but full credit to them," he said.

"We had our chances and their goalkeeper has won man of the match."

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 ON THIS STORY
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"We deserved it"
Blackburn's match winner Andy Cole
"This is all about the fans"

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