Ian’s obviously a top quality goalkeeper who’s always applied himself very, very well when he’s played in the reserves. But we all know he wants to play in the first team for the simple fact that he’s played a number of years and he’s had the England internationals that he has.
All I can do is make an assessment of how he’s done for the reserves — and he’s always been top class. Attitude wise and his ability between the sticks. For a seasoned pro, I couldn’t ask any more of him.
It’s unfortunate really, because as a goalkeeper he has come on, no doubt about it. It showed in the three-month period he had a Kingstonian. Every time I went to see him play and spoke to people there they spoke very, very highly of him.
But again, the difficulty for him is, as a young lad, he needs more games. I’d like to think that over the coming couple of years that he will get more reserve team fixtures, I’d like to think that. But it’s always a difficulty because your second choice keeper has to have games.
Particularly in that position. When you are an outfield player, I think you can afford to miss games and try and make up for it, but as a goalkeeper, you need to play and you need to play regularly. And that’s probably been the downside of the season — he hasn’t had enough games for us. But there’s no doubt as a keeper — he’s a better keeper now than he was at this stage last year.
We’ve got hopes of him going on to better things.
Played in a couple of positions. How do you judge if a player’s done well? Really by the amount of games and squads he features in for the first team.
The is a lad who’s gone from playing centre-half and centre forward to playing on a regular basis in our first team. Not only that, playing at international level as well and obviously as player that’s done very well for Ireland in World Cup games.
We couldn’t really ask any more from him than he’s done already.
Personally, I still see him as a centre-half who can play up front. The good thing is they are not a million miles apart. He is not somebody who is so much better at the back than his is up front, and I can see, possibly right the way through his career, him playing in both positions.
Also, certain people have different views, some see him as a centre-forward. Personally I see him as a centre-half who’s done ever so well for us at centre forward.
Forced his way into the first team, played a number of games on the spin and never let anybody down. Which sums him up, Alton’s got to where he is now by his own desires to want to do well.
Possibly he’s not as naturally gifted as some others, but his desire, endeavours, his own enthusiasm has really got him where he is now. That’s probably as big a testament to him than anything. Certainly for these younger players to look at, I think he is a model young professional for them to look at because he’s done it the hard way.
First team coach and former reserve team boss Chris Hughton runs the rule over players who passed through the Spurs second string during the course of last season.