No nerves for Nelsen

Defender thinks Spurs are suffering from not getting rub of the green

Ryan Nelsen: The defender looks set to start against Chelsea at Wembley

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Ryan Nelsen is ready to step in and help Tottenham out of their end-of-season wobble ahead of facing Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Tottenham's poor Premier League form sunk to a new low on Monday when they suffered only their third home defeat of the campaign against Norwich.

The fourth-placed Londoners now appear to be out of the reckoning for third and are level with Newcastle, who lead Chelsea by two points with five games left.

To make matters worse for Harry Redknapp, he has a major selection headache in defence ahead of Sunday's semi-final after Younes Kaboul hobbled off with a knee injury against Norwich.

"Obviously we're extremely disappointed, we really wanted to win the Norwich game."

Ryan Nelsen

Quotes of the week

Michael Dawson is out for the season with an ankle injury, while William Gallas and Ledley King have struggled with calf and knee complaints all season, meaning Nelsen may be thrust into action at Wembley just three months after his release from Blackburn.

He said: "I've played them (Chelsea) for the last eight seasons, we've all played against them. That's why I was brought in, to help out if situations arise like that, of course.

"We've got a squad of 25, every one of them will be needed at some stage in the rest of the season. It's really important and I'm looking forward to it."

Tense atmosphere

When quizzed about the fear of facing the likes of Juan Mata, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres, New Zealand captain Nelsen replied: "Well, they will be facing (Emmanuel) Adebayor, (Jermain) Defoe and (Louis) Saha, (Luka) Modric and (Rafael) van der Vaart. We all see what they can do every day in training."

Norwich's 2-1 win, which came courtesy of goals from Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett, was played out amid a tense atmosphere that seemed to transmit to the players.

Gareth Bale was the only real attacking threat for the hosts, although Defoe's first-half equaliser was a wonderful goal that will give the England striker a much-needed boost.

Nelsen admits the defeat was hard to take, but insists the Spurs squad do have the nerve to see out the campaign and secure UEFA Champions League qualification.

"Obviously we're extremely disappointed, we really wanted to win the Norwich game," he added.

"The results haven't been great, but we have been playing well and sometimes you just don't get the rub of the green.

"I don't think we were nervous. There is a lot of experience in our team so that's not an issue."

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