I'LL START with last weekend's Portsmouth. We talked last week about going to Portsmouth and getting the season off to a good start and we did just that. We came away with three points and it was just what we needed. It’s not the easiest of places to go but we went there and did a professional job. I’m sure the fans loved it in that sunshine! It was a soaking wet day for us as well but at least we had a shower afterwards! They were brilliant, as they are home and away and I’m sure they’ll always be there for us when when we need them.
SUNDAY morning soon came around and I packed my bags and headed for the England Under-21s meet at a hotel in Leicester. We trained on the Monday before flying out to Denmark on the Monday afternoon, trained again Monday night, Tuesday morning, played Tuesday night and flew back. That was it in a nutshell! It was a busy few days. A lot of the lads played on the Saturday so training wasn’t anything heavy, especially as we’ve then got the game on the Tuesday. It’s a case of getting the legs going again. It all happens so quickly, one minute you are playing for Spurs and then you’re pulling an England shirt on. By Thursday I was back in at Spurs and we’re preparing to play again on the Saturday. I love it!
I KNEW before the game that I would only play the 45 minutes against Denmark. I’d played Saturday at Portsmouth and it was only a friendly, so that was the case. I thoroughly enjoyed it, kept a clean sheet and to get a winner in the last minute was great.
I PLAYED alongside Calum Davenport for England and with Tom Huddlestone able to play there as well and also selected for the Under-21s (he was injured), it shows what a strong squad we’ve got here. It’s nice to be playing, to start the first game of the season and hopefully I can stay in the side. Anthony Gardner did well at Portsmouth as well and Ledley King has to come back but competition is good for the club, it keeps you on your toes and game by game you have to play well.
MIDDLESBROUGH will be a tough game. I was speaking to Stewart Dowing when I was with the Under-21s and that’s the quality of player we’ll come up against. Hasselbaink and Yakubu are big, strong players and they have quality all over the park. It will be a physical battle and I’m sure it will be different to Portsmouth. Hasselbaink has bags of experience and we’ve seen what he can do over the years. Downing’s a great player. He can get past defenders and whip a ball in, great left foot, powerful shot and he scores goals. We’ll have to keep an eye on him. He’s got it all for a winger but hopefully we’ll keep him quiet and come out on top. After Portsmouth, we want to start well in front of our fans.
Michael Dawson talks us through a busy and successful week as he continues his new diary item on the Official Spurs Website...