By Tottenham Hotspur
Thoughts on the weekend’s game:
“It was a disappointing result for us at West Ham. We had a lot of possession and Greenie [Robert Green] made some great saves. We started sloppy and then they got the goal. We dominated possession but we didn’t get going. It was a very lacklustre performance. Wednesday is a completely different situation, at home in Europe. That game didn’t come into our heads.
“It was a great day for Greenie, he’s had a tough time, but we could’ve done with them going in. He’s had a tough spell but I’m sure he’s got the full backing of West Ham supporters and his team-mates and I’m sure he’ll be fine.
How do you feel about your own form?
“I feel fit, I feel good, I feel like I’m playing well. It’s just great to be playing again. I feel like I’ve spent a few times on the bench but I’ve finally had a good pre-season, got really fit and forced the manager into playing me, just from training hard and taking my chance when it came. I just want to keep it up.
“It’s been difficult. I just want to play. There’s been constant rumours about me leaving and I just wanted to be settled and part of the team again. When you’re on the bench, you are a part of it, doing your bit but every time you come on or feature. But you still want to do more and it’s nice to get the recognition I feel I deserve.
You were linked with Inter Milan a few times?
“It’s fantastic to be linked with such clubs but my heart’s in Spurs and I want to play for Tottenham. I love being in London. I’m building a life here and it’s where I want to be.
Did you ever think you might have to leave Spurs?
“Of course. I just wanted to play football. It wasn’t anything in particular about Spurs or management or players. I love everything about the club. It was purely and simply about playing games, especially when there was a World Cup.
“It was frustrating to not get in the England team, not even get in with a shout to go. I didn’t play enough games, picked up too many injuries last year and didn’t really get a chance to prove to Mr Capello I deserved to go. But I’m getting a little run now.
What made you stay?
“It’s simple really. The offers that came in, I didn’t want to leave for. I wanted to stay and fight for my place. I realised what a big club this is and what we’re capable of. There’s Champions League football here now and I wanted to stay and be a part of it and fight, tooth and nail, to get my place back.
What about your England prospects?
“There’s not many players that play the way I do. Steven Gerrard is one who gets up and down. Apart from that, they haven’t really got many players that are as dynamic as myself. I feel like there’s definitely a spot there if I can just keep my form up.
How is your fitness?
“This is the best I’ve felt since a few years ago, when we went on that Carling Cup run. I was carrying a groin injury for at least a year, maybe because I was under a bit of pressure in my own position and I was trying to just delay, delay, delay the surgery, but I had to do it in the end.
“I was taking painkillers and everything to try and get through it and in the end I just broke down. I learned from that.
“I hope I’ve impressed the manager because I’ve just got my head down and kept focused and stayed as professional as I could, no matter what was said, no matter what rumours were flying around. I just trained as hard as possible and to be fair to the gaffer he’s rewarded me with a few starts.
“We’ve got a top squad and he’s made it clear to everyone that their position is up for grabs and we’re all fighting to stay in the team. Look at the lads among the subs, they would get in most Premier League teams, so competition is fierce and you’ve got to be on top of your game.