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Tottenham Hotspur FC assistant coach Gustavo Poyet has called on the London club's fans to propel them towards further cup glory ahead of the visit of PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Cup Round of 16.
Poyet considers the support Juande Ramos's side received in their 5-1 English League Cup semi-final win against Arsenal FC and subsequent 2-1 final victory against Chelsea FC as a major influence and believes it could give them the edge against the Dutch champions. "It's been fantastic in the last few games at home and the final was amazing," he said. "It's something the players love and when you feel that extra [support] from the fans, it's much easier. I'm sure the crowd will be unbelievable at White Hart Lane and that will help us."
Spurs reached this stage with a 3-2 win against SK Slavia Praha while PSV were convincing 4-1 aggregate winners against Helsingborgs IF, although it is the Eindhoven club's surprise defeat of Tottenham's north London rivals Arsenal in last season's UEFA Champions League first knockout round that has made the English club particularly wary. "They are quite a young side, very organised and know how to play the game," said Poyet. "That makes them a dangerous team. We know we will create chances so we have to take them and remain safe at the back. When it's over two legs, you have to play with the overall result in mind, but we have to win the first leg. It's important to keep a clean sheet as well so to win 1-0 would be a good result."
The home side should welcome back central defenders Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King - the key players in their League Cup final triumph - after both sat out Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Birmingham City FC, and with European football already secured for next season Tottenham can focus all their efforts on winning a third successive UEFA Cup for Ramos.
Eredivisie leaders PSV face second-placed AFC Ajax on Sunday and coach Sef Vergoossen has confirmed he will not be resting players, saying: "PSV were very happy that Jan Wouters and his players came third in their UEFA Champions League group and qualified for the UEFA Cup. It would be absurd to rest players now. Our goal must be to score. If we don't want to do that, there's no point in travelling at all."
Beaten for the first time under Vergoossen at the weekend on Sunday, 3-1 at FC Utrecht, PSV have concerns over strikers Danny Koevermans (groin) and Danko Lazović (calf). Should either fail to recover, 18-year-old Brazilian forward Jonathan may get a UEFA Cup debut having made three substitute appearances in the Eredivisie and another in the UEFA Champions League this season.
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