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Carr awaits Gin test

Posted on 27 April 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Stephen Carr is relishing what could be the head-to-head battle of the season on Saturday — up against his former team-mate and Lane hero David Ginola.

Winger Ginola has started to rediscover the form that dazzled fans in three seasons at Spurs after a rollercoaster season at Villa.

Still worshipped by the Lane faithful, the mercurial Frenchman returns to N17 for the first time since his summer switch this weekend.

Full-back Stephen is returning to form and fitness after a lengthy spell out and was back on international duty for the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

"Obviously I’ll have my hands full," he said. "Whatever has happened at Aston Villa this season he is still a quality player, a very talented player and don’t believe for one minute that he won’t want to go out and prove that at White Hart Lane.

"It will be another great experience for me to play against a world-class player.

"He is very gifted on the ball and I know I will have a difficult time against him, especially when he is on song. He will be lifted by playing at White Hart Lane and the opportunity to show what he can do.

"Villa obviously have some great other players as well, the likes of Merson, so it’s not just about Ginola but obviously the emphasis will be on him coming home as such. He loved the place and the crowd loved him."

Of course the theory is that if any defender knows Ginola’s game and, therefore, is able to stop him, it should be his former team-mate.

But Stephen insisted: "Loads of players know what he can do up and down that line but no-one can go out there and stop it. He can pull things out that you don’t expect.

"Obviously I got to know him here, what he likes and what he doesn’t like, but it will still be very hard stopping him in a game situation. I’ll have my hands full but I’ll relish it.

"I’ll show him respect but I have my own game to concentrate on as well.

"I never go into a game 100 per cent worrying about an opposing player. I think you have to bring your game onto him and see how he reacts.

"It’s up to me and whoever plays on the right to take our game to them.

"It will be difficult. They are strong and don’t get much away. They are fighting to go to Europe as well so it will be another tough one."

And so the controversial question — should he have been allowed to leave?

"Only the previous manager and chairman can tell you that," added Stephen. "Players are used to it. It happens all the time. One minute a player can be here and then you won’t see him again. It’s strange but that’s the way it works.

"People will say we’ve missed him because we haven’t done anything this season.

"That would always be the case. Life goes on and I don’t want to talk in the past.

"He’s a great player and I’ve a lot of respect for him.

"He’s had a lot of ups and downs at Villa but he’s hitting a bit of form now — just at the right time! It’s another test for me, that’s how I look at it and the most important thing is that we win on the day."

Listen to what Stephen had to say by clicking here

We are 5/4 to win on Saturday with Carr 33/1 to open the scoring - click for details.

By Paul Miles