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Gary answers YOUR questions

Posted on 18 June 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Part two of our conversation with Gary Doherty. You sent us dozens of emails with the questions and Gary answered them. Next weekend, Les Ferdinand has agreed to do the same so email your questions to us.

From Ian Spark: As a Luton-based Tottenham fan who watched you numerous times before your transfer I'd like to know how the atmosphere in the Premiership compares to the lower leagues.

GD: "It is miles apart. For a start there are more people and most of the stadiums are superb. The first time I played at White Hart Lane against Sunderland on the last day of last season was special. I also made my debut at Old Trafford, when there were over 61,000 fans in celebratory mood. That was an amazing experience."

From Magnus Tinnsten: Do you feel you have improved as a player since coming to Tottenham and what are the differences in training between Luton and Spurs?

GD: "I do feel I have improved already and that has a lot to do with playing with better players. It's early days yet though! As for the training, it's more thorough at Spurs. At Luton, we'd play a big game to get all the benefits from that but here, day by day, it's more thorough whether you are concentrating on finishing, defending, whatever. That makes you a better player because you learn more. I've also noticed how the great players are totally relaxed. They've done it at the highest level and have no fears in training, while I'm still running around like a madman trying to impress everyone! Hopefully, one day, that will be me."

From John Dawson; Matthew Orwell: What are your targets/ambitions at Tottenham?

GD: "I'm still young, so it would be great to get on the bench and be part of the first-team squad. Hopefully I'll do well in training and for the reserves to get a chance and then it's all about staying in there."

From Justin McKendrick: What are you looking forward to next season?

GD: "Hopefully being involved in a North London derby and challenging for a first-team place."

From Katie, London: What did you make of your experiences in the Nike US Cup in America?

GD: "At first, I was a bit sceptical about the tournament, especially as we had a lot of players missing. But it was a great experience to be part of the squad and even better to play a couple of times. It was very worthwhile for me."

From Brendan McMahon: Do you see yourself in the future partnering Robbie Keane up front for Ireland?

GD: "I'd certainly like to think so! Robbie is a great player and I'd love to partner him for Ireland but at the moment Niall Quinn is up there. He's been around for years and as an Ireland fan, I hope he can keep going for a few more."

From James Taverner: What is the most important match you've played in and the most important goals you've scored?

GD: "The matches would have to be my Spurs debut at Old Trafford and my Ireland debut against Greece. Both were live on Sky Sports and both were very important to me. As for the goals, I scored a couple for Luton against Lincoln in the FA Cup after I'd been thrown up front when we were losing. That was when I first played up front and everything has snowballed from there."

From The Cousins: Do you have any pre-match superstitions?

GD: "I've had the same pair of shinpads for a long time and I used to have a lucky jumper. I've got loads of things really. I've got lucky socks and I always have beans on toast on matchdays."

And finally&

From Mark Cooper: Does Espen Baardsen really wear dodgy jumpers?

GD: "To be honest, the weather has been nice since I arrived and I've not seen any. I'll have to hold judgement on that one!"