From Tottenham Hotspur

Jermaine Jenas Tottenham Hotspur 2010/11 Manchester United V Tottenham Hotspur (2-0) 30/10/10 The Premier League Photo: Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

How is your calf injury?

The calf is coming on well.  I’ve been running for the last three of four days.  The problem before was probably because I rushed it too much.  The squad has been pretty stretched over a busy period and I just wanted to get back and help out and probably pushed it too far.  Things are going well now and I just need to keep on with the rehab.

When do you think you’ll be back?

Blackpool will probably be a game too soon this weekend.  I’ve been joking and saying I hope it gets called off as it would give me another week so we will see.

Do you think the competition for places has raised everyones level?

It has to, not only in games but in training, because everyone wants to be playing.  I think it is important for a team playing Champions League football to have that intensity in the training and that competition for places too.

Is it frustrating when you are out injured seeing a teammate taking your place?

It is frustrating but the other side of it is I want everyone to play well because I want us to win every game.  It is frustrating that my injury came at the time that it did because I felt I was in good form and playing well, I felt really fit.  But these things happen sometimes.  I was speaking to Jermain Defoe about it and a similar thing happened to him.  Sometimes you get a kick in the teeth just when you are starting to find your feet again.

With Tottenham going so well, do you think it will improve your chances of being recalled by England?

If I can maintain the performances that I have been putting in then I don’t see why not.  We are playing in Europe’s elite competition, we are doing well in that and in the league too so hopefully it won’t go unnoticed for too long.

Harry Redknapp has suggested there is no reason why Spurs can’t challenge for the league, is that feeling the same within the squad?

I think it just important for us to start developing a more positive mentality rather than just being happy with getting into Europe or finishing fourth.  It is really important that we start to create a more positive attitude at the Club. Thinking more along those lines expresses and shows the direction we want to go as a club.  I think we have shown that in some of our most recent performances.

We are still a learning team.  You look at the likes of Man United and Chelsea, they have been there and done it over a number of years.  The moment someone breaks that stranglehold it will be a huge achievement for that team.  We have developed, we are gaining experience from the Champions League and we are bringing it into the league.  Hopefully we can filter that positive mentality through the club for generations to come.

The Champions League draw is on Friday, is there anyone you prefer to draw?

I think at this stage of the competition you are playing against top opposition no matter who you come up against.  If we want to progress we have to beat them.  We have done ourselves a big favour in finishing top of our group.  It means we play the second leg of our match back at White Hart Lane which can be a huge advantage.  Anything in this competition that gives you a slight edge helps and we have done that with how we have done in the group stage.  I don’t mind who we get.  I feel confident against most teams, particularly when they have to visit the Lane so we look forward to the draw on Friday.

Do you feel you can take on anyone having already beaten the reigning European champions Inter Milan?

There is a huge confidence breeding through us, especially in the Champions League, with those kind of results.  Against Inter Milan we improved those feelings but we are not daft.  We know this competition can change in a flash.  We are in the knockout stages now, this is where it starts getting interesting so we have to be on top of our game.  The other games have been and gone.  They are in the history books and they were great nights but we have to switch on and focus on whoever we face next.

What sort of impact has Rafael van der Vaart’s arrival had at the Club?

I was surprised how well he just fitted into the group.  It feels like he has been here for years.  In terms of his performances, what he has done speaks for itself.  I think the experience he brings from playing international and European football has really helped us especially at some stages of the Champions League.  He gives us something different.  We have got out and out pace with Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale on the wings and Rafa can sometimes fill in on that right hand side and drift in or he can play off the front man and link it between the midfield and forwards.  He really does give us something different.

He is a player that can push us to the next level but then we have a number of players like that now.  I said before about the change in attitude at the Club and it does feel like Rafa brings experience in terms of preparation for games but I think we are all doing that now.  We are all developing as players and as we get older we are getting more experience.  I just think the team is really coming together at a good time.

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