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Ex-Spurs man claims Klinsmann “changed the mentality” of Tottenham

Klinsmann Signs With Spurs

German footballer J?rgen Klinsmann holds up a Tottenham Hotspur scarf after signing with the club, 4th August 1994. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

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Gillingham are long shots to advance any further in the EFL Cup than Wednesday’s third round match against Tottenham Hotspur.

Gills manager Justin Edinburgh is extra excited for the match, having spent 10 years with Spurs as a defender.

[ MORE: EFL Cup roundup ]

The League One match is reveling in the chance to manage against his old club at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, and reflected on his time at Spurs during a feature interview with The Daily Mail this week.

In it, the 46-year-old Edinburgh praises ex-Spurs teammate and current USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He said the German changed “the mentality of the club” and “the way I thought about football.”

From The Daily Mail:

“After his first day of training he went up to the coaches. We were training with balls that were all mixed, plucked from all over the place. He asked: ‘Are these the match balls?’ They just said, ‘We play with different balls.’

“Jurgen insisted: Why aren’t we training with match balls?’ It sounds simple now but back then it wasn’t being done. The manner in which we trained, the tempo, intensity, professionalism all changed with Jurgen.”

Klinsmann scored 39 goals in 68 appearances for Spurs across two stints with the Premier League outfit, part of a 277-goal club career (He added 47 for Germany and West Germany).

Wednesday’s kickoff between Gillingham and Spurs is at 3 p.m. ET. The USMNT is back in action on Oct. 7 at Cuba before hosting New Zealand on Oct. 11.

Follow @NicholasMendola