FA to fight Huddlestone's corner

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Football News

The Football Association are set to appeal against Tom Huddlestone's suspension that threatens to deny him a place in the England Under-21 squad for the European Championships finals next summer.

Huddlestone, the Tottenham midfielder, was dismissed in the qualifying play-off against Wales last month and UEFA have handed out a three-match ban for the tackle on Darcy Blake that earned a straight red card.

Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce would be reluctant to take a player to the finals who would miss the group stages of the finals, and there are hopes of the FA appeal leading to a shorter punishment.

Huddlestone is an experienced member of Pearce's squad and his performances this season under Harry Redknapp have even seen him mentioned as a possible candidate for a senior call-up.

Redknapp is expected to use the 21-year-old against Everton this weekend in the Barclays Premier League clash at White Hart Lane, with the youngster anchoring the midfield and spreading the ball in his "quarterback" role.

Such is his range of passing, Redknapp has previously compared Huddlestone to Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle.

"To be compared to someone who is a legend at Tottenham is a great compliment but I can't read too much into it, I've got to play my own game and hope to be as successful as he was," Huddlestone said.

Huddlestone tasted success last season with the Carling Cup victory and, after a poor start to the campaign, wants to build on Spurs' run of seven wins from nine games under Redknapp.

They are effectively in the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup following victory over NEC Nijmegen this week, and they face Watford in the Carling Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"Obviously confidence is high," he said. "The NEC match wasn't the greatest performance as a team but that is a good ingredient to have - to win games when you aren't playing that well."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Tom Huddlestone
Darcy Blake
Stuart Pearce

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