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Hughton on done deals

Posted on 29 March 2004  - 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).

Chris Hughton reasoned that Johnnie Jackson has shown an assurance in his Premiership performances so far that warranted the contract extension awarded to the young midfielder last week.

Since making his debut against Portsmouth on Boxing Day, the 21-year-old has now clocked up 11 first team appearances and his endeavors have now been rewarded with a new deal.

"With young lads it is all about seizing opportunities," considered the first team coach. "Everybody here at the club knew about the ability he has and his wonderful left foot.

"He went out on loan and did well but, until you put players in the first team, you don't know how they are going to cope and how they are going to react. Fortunately for us, Johnnie has performed very, very well.

"I think it helps that he is so assured on the pitch. He is a confident lad in the right way and is lad who adapted very well to being in the first team fold."

Another who put pen to paper on a new contract last week was reserve top scorer Lee Barnard, the 19-year-old striker whose progress was rewarded in February with a place on the bench for the Charlton encounter at the Valley.

"He has done well and has performed for quite some time, his progress has been good," added Chris of ther player who yesterday joined Conference outfit Stevenage Borough on an initial one-month loan stint.

"Lee would perhaps be disappointed that he hasn't had more opportunities to break into the first team - it is an area where we are very strong and we haven't had, of late, so many injuries.

"It is really a reward for the hard work he has put in, not only in the reserves but also on the training pitch."

Chris acknowledges that, for young strikers like Lee and Jamie Slabber, the recent bolstering of the forward department with the likes of Fredi Kanoute, Helder Postiga and Jermain Defoe, a first team call might feel all the more distant.

"It is difficult for them and I can certainly understand that. The reasons are obvious, we felt that we needed to strengthen for the present. With Lee and Jamie Slabber we are looking at potential because they are young lads.

"For them though, it is a wonderful opportunity for them to see these players in action first hand, to work with the the likes of Robbie and Fredi and learn from them.

"Hopefully, at some stage, they will get an opportunity themselves."