Egypt allow Mido to return for Spurs

Tottenham have shrugged off the disappointment of defeat by West Brom by securing the services of striker Mido for two vital Barclays Premiership games next month.

The Egypt international is to fly home to play for his country in the African Nations Cup but will now be available for Tottenham’s trip to Manchester City next week and their clash with Liverpool at Anfield on January 14.

Mido was left out of coach Martin Jol’s starting line-up against Albion at the Hawthorns last night with Grzegorz Rasiak given a chance to acclimatise himself with the pace of the Premiership.

Jol is likely to turn to the former Derby player during Mido’s absence but the club have revealed the 22-year-old will return to England after taking part in Egypt’s friendly with Nigeria.

The tournament, comprising 16 teams in four groups, begins on January 20 when Egypt take on Libya and while FIFA regulations require that players are released by their clubs two weeks prior to the start of the competition, Spurs are delighted to have held on to their star striker until the last moment.

The club’s sporting director, Damien Comolli said: “We are appreciative of the understanding of the Egyptian Football Association.

“They have taken into account both the interests of the players and our club. There was an excellent spirit of co-operation.”

Mido will return to Egypt for the duration of the tournament but could be back with Spurs after the last group game on January 28.

The quarter-finals will be held on February 3/4 with the semi-finals on February 7, the third/fourth place play-off on February 9 while the final will take place on February 10.

Egypt must finish in the top two of their group to progress but face a tough task in Cairo as they take on the Ivory Coast, including Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Arsenal’s Kolo Toure, Morocco, where he will face Spurs team-mate Noureddine Naybet, and Libya.

Jol will be looking to lift his side for the sell-out clash with Newcastle at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

The Geordies will be fresher than Spurs after their home game against Charlton fell victim to the weather conditions enveloping much of the country.

Tottenham were never in the game against valiant Albion who easily overcame their visitors with a goal in each half from Kanu.

Spurs remain in fourth place in the Premiership but the defeat was difficult to stomach, particularly for England goalkeeper Paul Robinson who was captain in the absence of injured centre-half Ledley King.

It was only Tottenham’s second defeat on their travels this season but Robinson had a sneaking feeling such a reverse was on the cards because of their poor form in the games leading up to the midlands trip.

“I think we’ve got what might have been coming for a little bit because we have not played particularly well in our last couple of games,” said Robinson. “We managed to get results then but it caught up with us at Albion and we got what we deserved.

“I think we might have needed it because we were not up to scratch and this time we didn’t get anything. I don’t know why but sometimes it can click for you and sometimes it just doesn’t. It just didn’t happen for us.”

Robinson is already looking forward to putting it right on Saturday when he hopes for a positive reaction to the setback from his team-mates.

“It is the first time we’ve lost for a while and we are now looking for a reaction and hopefully to pick up three points on Saturday.

“It is usually a good game when we play Newcastle. We’ve got a great record at home and we want to keep our run going there.”

Spurs will be without King and Jol will consider restoring Mido and Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane to the starting line-up in place of England forward Jermain Defoe and Rasiak.


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