Since the Dutchman took charge of Spurs following the departure of Jacques Santini, there has been a complete change of fortunes for the north London club. After looking like they were in freefall towards the relegation zone, now their fans will head into 2005 with dreams of European football very much alive.
They weathered an early storm at Carrow Road during which Norwich twice hit the woodwork before victory was secured thanks to second-half strikes from Robbie Keane and Michael Brown, who fired in a brilliant 25-yard shot to make sure of the result.
“In the first 15 minutes we gave away a few chances, there was one shot against the post, they pressurised us and played pretty well, but we had good spells,” said Jol.
“In the second half we were in control and then played the ball much better, creating some chances, so I was pleased with that. We have a terrific bunch of players, and it is all about a good mentality and trying to play in a way you believe in. To get 15 points is great for us, so I am a happy man,” he said.
Jol felt Norwich deserved some credit for their positive approach, even thought it ultimately failed to produce the goods in front of goal.
While Spurs will head into tomorrow’s home match against Crystal Palace confident of winning a sixth successive league game, Norwich boss Nigel Worthington was left counting the cost of another defeat.
The loss not only leaves the Canaries still too close to the drop zone for comfort, it also saw them hit by three fresh injury blows as they prepare to visit Middlesbrough.
Simon Charlton (dead leg), Mattias Jonson (concussion) and Youssef Safri (ankle) joined the likes of Gary Holt, Mathias Svensson and Damien Francis on the sidelines. “We are down to the bare bones now, but we will get on with it,” said Worthington, who will include a few youth team players in his squad for the trip to Teesside.
: Green, Edworthy, Doherty, Fleming, Charlton (Drury 8), Jonson (McVeigh 39), Helveg, Safri (Mulryne 46), Bentley, McKenzie, Huckerby.
: Robinson, Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman, Pedro Mendes, Carrick, Brown (Redknapp 87), Atouba (Ziegler 65), Kanoute (Defoe 71), Keane.
: M Riley (W Yorkshire).