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Cock-a-Hoop over Kelly

Posted on 2 May 2003  - 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).

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway this week spoke in glowing terms over the impact made at Loftus Road by young Spur Stephen Kelly.

The Republic of Ireland under-20 international joined the Hoops on loan at the end of March and has yet to feature in a losing side. The only blot on an otherwise very impressive copybook is that fact that he was sent off in his last outing against Crewe - a dismissal that Holloway described as 'very unfair'.

Holloway spoke to the official site at Spurs Lodge, having bought a team to provide the opposition for a friendly in order to give Christian Ziege and Jamie Redknapp some match practice.

He did not hesitate to reply in the positive when asked how our young defender was fairing in W12.

"He's been involved in six games for us and we've won five and drawn one!" beamed Holloway. "He's been a large part of why we've managed to get in the play-offs.

"Stephen's got a great future ahead of him and is a real smashing fella to work with.

"Strengths - I feel he is a fantastic defender who reads things very, very naturally, very quick - inbetween a full-back and centre half size at the minute - and he is working on his distribution and selection.

"I think Tottenham could have a very exciting player on their hands.

"He is playing right back for us at the moment and he got sent off on Saturday very, very unfairly. Unfortunately you can't appeal because it was two yellow cards.

"I think a lot of being a player is down to your attitude and application - he has certainly got the ability and his application and attitude is different class."

It is an obvious benefit for a young loan player to link up with a team on an upward curve - and that is certainly the case in this instance. Holloway revealed that Stephen has stepped, with some ease, into the boots of a particularly vital player lost to injury.

"Stephen has taken a lad's place - Tyrell Forbes - who was Player of the Year last year and we couldn't win a game without him. We had no one else who was anything like comfortable playing at right-back and Stephen needed to hit the ground running. For us he did.

"I've got to say, I've got an awful lot of time for him, he is a smashing, very nice, humble lad who is going to have a big career in the game."

It was unfortunate for QPR that when they hit their winning run the teams around them were also collecting points and the play-offs is now their destination with one game remaining against Colchester.

Holloway is confident that his team can continue with their rich vein of form through the tension-filled climax to the season.

"We started a little bit late and had a bad period where we couldn't win a game. That really cost us on automatic, but I am really pleased that we are playing better than most people at the moment.

"No team has equalled our three-month's tally and if the season had started then we'd be top of the league. You can only improve from week to week though and you want your players on board with you and mine certainly are.

"Full credit to everyone at Tottenham, Stephen has come over, settled in and you would have thought he's been there all his life."


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