SIR ALAN SUGAR has criticised Tottenham's current players for blaming the club's recent poor form on player and staff departures.

The former Tottenham chairman who bought the north London side in 1991, despite competition from the late MP and media mogul Robert Maxwell and who hosts the BBC1 reality TV show The Apprentice, believes boss Juande Ramos' current side should not make excuses for their performances.

He told BBC Breakfast and BBC's Football Focus: "Forget about outside influences, forget about Berbatov, Keane, Defoe or the Martin Jol scenario, it's about trying to move on and for the Spurs players to take account of themselves.

"It's their credibility on the line and they shouldn't hide behind the bushes."

Sugar, whose entrepreneurial experience includes founding the electronics company Amstrad in 1968, later became notorious as chairman for criticising his own players for wage demands including ex-striker Jurgen Klinsmann and eventually sold Tottenham in 2001 after abuse and criticism from Spurs supporters.

Sugar added: "As soon as this club starts to do well, the man from Del Monte (ie Manchester) comes calling and Tottenham lose their best players.

"As soon as someone gets good, they get head-hunted. Should we buy mediocre players so Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't want them? One day I'd love to be a football manager, it's mental."

Asked whether Ramos is set to be replaced by Mark Hughes at Tottenham, Sugar said: "I think it's rubbish. I doubt very much he wants to leave Man City's millions to come to Tottenham."

Sir Alan intimated that Spurs fans should keep calm amidst turbulent times at the club, including Damien Comolli's role as Technical Director at White Hart Lane and said Spurs have: "A great squad of players."

Tottenham are currently bottom of the Premier League table with just two points from six matches, their worst start to a Premier League season for 53 years.

Sugar points finger at those hired