By Tottenham Hotspur
The battle for fourth place is really hotting up, isn’t it?
It’s definitely hotting up. It’s good though because it reminds me of last season when it was between us and Man City. When we got into fourth position the consistency we showed was unbelievable.
There was a lot of pressure on us, people asking ‘can we do it?’ And we did it in the end so that was good. Hopefully we can repeat that, it would be special.
Without putting too much pressure on the players, I think it’s nice when you’re playing Champions League football and then you do it again the next season. People say ‘Ah it wasn’t a one off, they’ve gone and done it again.’
I think it would be a great achievement. We need to keep picking up points, the wins against Blackburn and Bolton last week were vital.
Is it going to be more difficult this season when you consider the amount Man City and Chelsea have spent on new players and Liverpool too? Would it be an even bigger achievement this time round?
Definitely, I think so, people always say it when clubs go out and spend loads of money. But I believe, even if you go out and buy ten new players, whose to say that they’re all going to just straight away fit in? It’s difficult.
Sometimes it’s more difficult for a manager when you’ve got new players coming in, you’ve got to find the perfect formation and work out how they play.
So, with the squad that we’ve got, I’d honestly say we’ve got one of the best squads in the Premier League anyway.
Even on Wednesday night at Blackburn, if you looked at our bench and
the players who can come on and make an impact on the game.
On top of that, Luka Modric was missing, Steven Pienaar, Jonathan Woodgate’s only just back, Ledley King’s injured, Michael Dawson was suspended, Younes Kaboul’s
picked up a knee injury, Tom Huddlestone’s got an ankle problem.
That’s seven big players that were not there (playing) and we still managed to go to a place like Ewood Park and still win.
There’s a lot of players who can come back and that’s going to make the squad even stronger leading towards the end of the season.
So, it looks good. It will be difficult to finish fourth again, but if we just keep picking up points, you never know. I believe that we should do, with the players we’ve got.”
You must be pleased how well the team are doing despite all the injuries in the squad? I mean you missed three and a half months yourself with an ankle injury earlier in the season?
Yeah, the squad has coped but that’s because of the players we’ve got at the club. When someone gets injured, someone can come in and do just as well. I think that’s important to have a big squad, especially when you want to finish fourth in the Premier League and you’ve got the Champions League and the cup competitions too.
Everyone’s playing well, everyone’s buzzing, around the place, looking forward to players coming back.
I think Gareth Bale should be back in a couple of weeks, hopefully for the AC Milan game. He’s a massive player for us, he’s had a little rest now so he’ll come back flying.
What have been your impressions of playing in the Champions League for the first time?
It’s just a different level, the buzz. It’s like international football, you’re playing against the best in the world, the best teams, the best defenders, the best stadiums, and that’s where you
want to play.
Before the game, when the music comes on, the buzz around the place is just brilliant, that’s where you want to play. They’re the nights, that’s why you play football.
You want that buzz again, you don’t want it to be a one-off. We want to finish fourth and make sure next season that we have that again at because it’s special.
Would it break your heart if Tottenham didn’t do it again this year?
Yeah, if we didn’t finish fourth, we’d be gutted, I’d be gutted. If you look at the players we’ve got, the quality we’ve got, I believe we should be in the top four.
The upcoming games will have a big say where you finish, starting this weekend against Sunderland?
Yeah, it’s crazy. People are buzzing with the season we’ve had. We’ve got Sunderland just behind us, for their fans and their club, they’ve had a fantastic season as well. It’s good though, it keeps you on your toes. We know every game now is like a cup final.
We’ve just got to approach it and think ‘We’ve got to win.’ A point is not enough, we’ve got to get three points, and you’ve got to have that winning mentality.
The top teams over the years, they’ve done it. For instance, Man United, over the years, when they’ve won a League and done well in the Champions League.
I believe we can do that, we’ve got great players, it’s a squad of internationals, players who can handle that pressure, who’ve played many times for their countries.
I believe we can do it. And the team spirit’s really good, I think that’s important as well.
When the spirit’s good everyone is together, we’re all fighting for each other.
Just curious, were you watching the transfer deadline last Monday, as it unfolded?
Yeah, I was glued to the TV, it was mad. Even though I’m a player, I’m still a fan, I love football and always watch different games. And it was interesting to see what goes on, especially when you’ve been involved in that before.
You moved on transfer deadline day?
Yeah. So when you can just relax, when you know you’re settled at a club, you know you’re not going anywhere, you’re at a great club and you can just chill out, and see what goes on.
It was mad the amount of money that was spent, compared to last season. How much was it last season? £30million? And this time it seems like £200million, it’s crazy.
And the money that was asked for some players, it’s just mad. But, that’s football, that’s how is going.
I suppose now, if you want the top players you’ve got to pay the money, it’s as simple as that.
Liverpool are going in a different direction now, they’ve got a new manager and Andy Carroll is a good signing, strong.
And, obviously (Fernando) Torres, going to Chelsea, that’s something that’s been on the cards for a while, it’s always been talked about and he’s always been linked with Chelsea.
If Spurs win their game in hand you are just two points behind City. Are they the team you are realistically targetting?
Maybe, yeah, maybe. I think by the end of the season it’ll probably be similar to last season, where it’s just us and City. And we’ve just got to make sure we’ll get there, hopefully.
You’re front four are as good as any front four in the Premier League?
Yeah. Not only just the forwards, the midfield and defenders that we’ve got.
If you look at our whole squad now, I believe it’s one of the strongest squads in the Premier League.
Man for man I’d say we’re up there. A lot of experience and a lot of young players as well, so it’s good.
There’s players like Niko Kranjcar whose not really featured a lot, an unbelievable player, whose scored, I think about five goals in his last three games for Croatia.
And Gio (dos Santos) who was unbelievable in the World Cup, he’s gone on loan. And obviously Keano, great experience, gone to West Ham and scored on his debut.
David Bentley’s gone out (on loan to Birmingham), there’s so many players, just the whole squad, who are here now and the players who’ve gone out on loan, so many good players at the club, which is so important.