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Latest on the loan lads

Posted on 8 December 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).

Clive Allen has kept a close eye on our youngsters out on loan and he's received rave reviews on the progress of Lee Barnard and Mark Hughes.

Midfielder Mark is at Oldham Athletic in the League Two while striker Lee - top scorer in the Barclays Premier Reserve League on his departure - is at Leyton Orient in League Two.

By a quirk of the draw, the pair actually played against each other in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday where Mark's Oldham came out 4-0 winners.

Dean Marney has also been on loan at Gillingham in the Coca-Cola Championship and returned this week after an eventful spell at Priestfield.

Development coach Clive managed to see Dean in action during his time at Gillingham and was delighted with what he saw of Lee in action last week.

"I went to watch Lee in an LDV Vans match against Walsall and he was outstanding," reported Clive back at Spurs Lodge this week.

"He's actually been in for a little bit of treatment and he says he's enjoying himself at Orient.

"He's finding it as difficult as he expected but it's the challenge that he wanted.

"We had a little bit of banter about him playing against Hughesy (Mark Hughes) in the FA Cup against Oldham on Saturday.

"Mark's done well there and Lee said he was excellent on Saturday.

"Obviously, Lee was disappointed himself with the result but this is what it's all about with these lads going out on loan. It's all about experience.

"Some can work out favourably and some can be tough for these young lads because it's a step up and it's a question you are asking of them. Certainly in Lee's case, it's going well.

"Brian Talbot has spoken very highly of Mark at Oldham. He actually had a very disappointing spell at Northampton earlier in the season that he was very down about but we had a chat about it, he got back into the reserves, played well and that's where Brian saw him.

"He's gone from strength to strength at Oldham and it just shows you how quickly football can change. You can be down but the nature of the game means you can quickly be back on a high.

"Dean came back and played in a central midfield role for us against Arsenal on Monday which he didn't have the opportunity to do at Gillingham.

"They are under their own pressures and he played a number of games for them at right-back, one of which I saw against Derby County. He acquitted himself well there.

"He went away to experience league football which is a step up from the reserves, he's getting a taste of what it's all about and that can only increase his learning curve.

"I think he enjoyed the experience but as it came to an end there was some turmoil at the club with changes of manager and it was a case of him coming back and getting into the swing of things here again.

"He did that seamlessly against Arsenal and he showed real quality in that game where he was up against two good central midfielders yet managed to control it in there for long periods. The lads are pleased to see him back."