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Ben tells it how it is

Posted on 8 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Ben Thatcher has honestly admitted: "I've got to do better."

The left-back who joined us in a big £5m deal from Wimbledon in the summer is the first to admit that the last couple of games haven't quite gone to plan.

He was disappointed with his own performance in the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle and things went from bad to worse in our last Premiership outing against Everton at White Hart Lane.

He was injured after a heavy challenge with Steve Watson in the opening exchanges and then underhit a back pass to Neil Sullivan to allow Francis Jeffers to nip in and open the scoring. Clearly struggling with injuries from his early clash, Thatcher departed the scene to be replaced by Mauricio Taricco with only 37 minutes on the clock.

Thatcher suffered a bruised chest and ribs and is now fighting to be fit for the visit of West Ham on Monday. "I don't feel too bad as it happens," said Thatcher. "I had the collision early in the game and my chest and side tightened up. The physio has been working on it and it has been getting better quite quickly so hopefully I'll have half-a-chance against West Ham.

"That will be my first derby at Spurs so I'm looking forward to it but there needs to be a lot of improvement to be honest. I felt I started the season okay-ish against Ipswich and Middlesbrough but from personal point of view Newcastle was disappointing and then there was the poor back pass against Everton the other night. There are a lot of things to improve on.

"It's early days yet and all I can do is get as fit as I can and try to play as well as I can."

If he plays, Thatcher is expecting a busy night against West Ham's array of attacking talent. "I've always looked forward to playing West Ham," he added. "They are a terrific side with good attacking players in Di Canio, Kanoute, Suker, Sinclair - that's a tremendous forward line. Harry Redknapp is also one of the best managers in the league."