Robson ready for close game
By Tom Adams and Juha Pal
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Brom boss Bryan Robson says he is anticipating a close encounter with Spurs.
West Brom boss Bryan Robson says he is anticipating a close encounter when The Baggies visit Tottenham on Monday night, live on Sky Sports 1.
Robson's side are heavily embroiled in the Premiership relegation race and in Martin Jol's Spurs they face a team well placed in fourth position and enjoying a tremendous season.
Despite the fixture pitting teams at opposite sides of the table together, Robson is confident that his men can take a step closer to safety at White Hart Lane.
After orchestrating the downfall of Jol's side in a 2-0 home victory in December, the Baggies boss insists he is hopeful of another impressive performance in London.
"We had a good performance against Tottenham at The Hawthorns and since I've been at the club we've played them four times now and they've been good games, close games," Robson told Sky Sports News.
"We've given Tottenham a good game in each of the games so we've got to go in there with a belief and desire to want to perform well again and I'm sure the lads can do that.
"So I think it will be a close game."
Tottenham are currently holding off the challenge of Arsenal, Bolton and Blackburn for the coveted fourth spot and the UEFA Champions League riches that follow, and Robson says he is not surprised that Spurs are challenging the status quo.
Jol has built his side on a foundation of exciting domestic talent, but the addition of players such as Edgar Davids gives the squad a productive balance according to Robson.
"If you asked any of the managers in The Premiership which teams they thought would be competing for Europe this year it would be Tottenham because of the calibre of players they have bought," Robson added.
"They have got some good young players but have got some experienced players in the club as well so it doesn't shock me that they are up there.
"I think if they finish in a Champions League spot then Martin Jol has done a fantastic job this season."
One Baggies star hoping to return in time for the trip to White Hart Lane is Zoltan Gera, and he could be poised to make just his third appearance since October.
The Hungarian, who played a pivotal role in West Brom's survival campaign last season, has had his season derailed by a pelvic problem, but now Gera insists he feels ready to return to the first team.
"I haven't played as well on a Friday training for a long time," the Baggies star told gerazoltan.com.
"I didn't feel any problem and it was a pleasure for me because on Thursday I hadn't been that fine.
"After Tuesday's reserve game against Everton I have had a full day rest and in spite of this the following day I had some bad movements and felt pain too.
"After all I had absolutely no problem on Friday.
"I don't want to speak too soon but if I develop so fast then there'll be nothing against my first team football on Monday, if Bryan Robson wants it as well.
"So far I don't plan anything but it was nice to hear that Robson was optimistic about me too."