Stephen Robinson: Morecambe's tough task whoever Tottenham Hotspur choose for FA Cup tie

Stephen Robinson is braced for a tough test whatever team Tottenham Hotspur select to face his Morecambe side tomorrow.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 8:00 am

Twelve months on from a trip to Chelsea, the Shrimps are back in the capital for another FA Cup third-round tie.

This time last year, much to the surprise of the Morecambe camp, Chelsea named a starting XI whose transfer fees totalled around £280m.

In contrast, there is every chance Tottenham’s line-up may not be their strongest, given Antonio Conte’s men face the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, also with Chelsea, next Wednesday.

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Tottenham Hotspur host Morecambe tomorrow afternoon

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Nevertheless, even if their star men are given the day off, Robinson admits his players will be up against it.

“Weaknesses are hard to find,” he said.

“Since Antonio has come in, they have done really well.

“Every team has their weaknesses in terms of their system and how they play.

“The biggest problem will be what team he puts out. Whoever they put out, it’s going to be a very difficult task.

“I just think whatever team they put out, even if it’s a couple of Under-23 players, you’re talking about very talented players.”

Tomorrow’s trip sees Robinson return to Spurs, 31 years after the boyhood Aston Villa fan signed terms at White Hart Lane despite interest from Rangers and Manchester United.

Terry Venables was the man in charge when he joined but, by the time Robinson made his two appearances for the club in 1993, it was Ossie Ardiles in the dugout.

After a loan spell with Leyton Orient, Robinson left Spurs for good in October 1994 when beginning a six-year stint with Bournemouth.

It was the era of Ardiles’ ‘famous five’ attackers at Tottenham with the players ahead of Robinson giving some indication as to the challenge facing him.

He said: “I couldn’t figure why I didn’t get more than a few games but (Jurgen) Klinsmann, Teddy (Sheringham), Nick (Barmby) were probably slightly better than me!

“When you are younger you don’t appreciate it, you think you’re as good as everyone else and I might have jumped a little bit too early.

“I couldn’t get my head around why I couldn’t get back into the team - when you look back now, that’s cringeworthy.

“Ossie was the most cavalier manager I’ve worked under, the defenders must have hated him!

“As a striker, he didn’t want you to defend very much, but it was brilliant to be involved with.

“I’m still in touch with Nick: we played up front against Blackburn on my debut.

“There are a lot of memories. The club has moved on significantly since I was there.”

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