King's Spurs fears
© AFP

Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King has told his team-mates they "will go down" from the Premier League unless there is a marked improvement in the north London club's performances.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp accused some of his players of lacking the character for a relegation scrap after Sunday's 1-0 stoppage-time loss away to Wigan left his side rooted in the bottom three. Tottenham enjoyed a revival when Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane from Premier League rivals Portsmouth in October.

However, although their knockout form has held up - the League Cup holders are on course for the final after a 4-1 semi-final first leg win over Burnley - it has been a different story in the Premier League

"We have to improve, otherwise we will go down. It is simple," centre-half King told Monday's London Evening Standard. "We need people to stand up and fight for each other, and be counted as men and as players. That has not been happening enough, which is why we find ourselves in this position."

We need people to stand up and fight for each other, and be counted as men and as players. That has not been happening enough.
Ledley King on Tottenham Hotspur.

King added: "We are not playing well away from home, but when that happens, you have to work hard and maintain your focus. We are conceding late goals because of a lack of concentration. We are switching off, and that sums us up at the moment."

Redknapp, who left £15 million pre-season Spurs signing David Bentley on the bench against Wigan, said the expensively assembled squad he's inherted from Juande Ramos had to start proving their worth, regardless of anything he did during the January transfer window.

"The club have paid a lot of money for these players because they are supposed to be quality players but they need to show that on the pitch. We have some players in there who need to do a lot better than they are at the moment," Redknapp said.

Asked about bringing in new recruits, Redknapp added: "I haven't got anyone in mind. It is pretty quiet really. Where do you find good players this time of year? It is hard."