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Hughton's Irish diary

Posted on 27 May 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 gives us the inside track on a busy early summer schedule for an Irish camp that includes our own Robbie Keane and Gary Doherty... <P>Coach Chris is Ireland's assistant manager and is helping prepare the squad for four friendlies in a little over&nbsp&#59;a week. <P>It all starts&nbsp&#59;against Romania in Dublin tonight, continues against Nigeria on Saturday and Jamaica next Wednesday in the Unity Cup at Charlton before a trip to Holland on Saturday June 5. <P><STRONG><EM>Here are Chris' thoughts so far...</EM></STRONG> <P>THE SQUAD&nbsp&#59;met up at Portmarnock on Monday and we've trained Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning and we'll be out again on Thursday preparing for the game. Portmarnock is a lovely place, right on the coast and on a beach that is very picturesque. That's certainly an upside of being here. <P>THE players arrived in a good mood and&nbsp&#59;it's different because generally it's a very young squad. There are a lot of players involved where&nbsp&#59;if it's not their first involvement&nbsp&#59;then it's only their second or third.&nbsp&#59;With that comes a lot of enthusiasm because it's important for them and new to them and they are very keen to learn. <P><IMG src="/media/images/decorative/photos/cpix/hughton3.jpg" align=left border=1 DESIGNTIMEURL="/photos/cpix/hughton3.jpg">TRAINING wise it can be difficult to get the right balance. We have Premiership players who haven't played for a week and some First Division players who haven't played for two weeks so you have to get the balance right between doing enough training so they can get back up to speed but not doing too much so it fatigues them for the game. <P>WE went to the cinema on Tuesday night. That's a bit of a tradition with Irish squads and it's a nice relaxing evening for the players. It's a good tradition. The lads are stuck at the hotel for long periods and boredom can set in. That is a release from it. We've always&nbsp&#59;done it and the public are always&nbsp&#59;very receptive to the squad and it's a nice touch. The lads enjoy it.&nbsp&#59;We allowed the lads&nbsp&#59;to play a little golf on Wednesday afternoon and&nbsp&#59;quite a few played nine holes here at Portmarnock, we're lucky to have that facility on site here. We then had a video session early evening before watching the Champions League Final. <P>ROMANIA are a better side than I thought they were. They are very mobile, good feet in the team, good passing and quick. They haven't got the&nbsp&#59;well-known individuals that so many internatonal sides have got, although we know them on the circuit, but they are good team. They just beat Germany 5-1 so that's an indication of what we're up against. <P>IT'S A SPECIAL night for Robbie Keane, his 50th cap. It's incredible really for someone so young. He deserves it and I would expect him to perform and perform well, as he always does for Ireland. Robbie's Robbie though, it hasn't fazed him and he'll go into it as another game, although he has said and we all know what and honour it is for him. It's means so much for all these boys to play for their country, as it should do. To play at international level is the highest individual accolade you can get in the game. <P>I'M USED to meeting up for the internationals but it has been a nice break from the season we've just had to join up with Ireland this week. It's nice to come away and see the&nbsp&#59;other players and talk to them about their seasons. Obviously we're all waiting to see what is going to happen at the club but the fact that a new manager is coming in means everyone is looking forward to next season and that's right. Everyone concerned wants to put last season behind us. <P><B><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 20pt&#59; FONT-FAMILY: 'Monotype Corsiva'&#59; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt">All the best, Chris<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B> <P><P><P><P><P><P><P><P><P>&nbsp&#59;