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LEDS BACKS LEE

Posted on 27 April 2006  - 12:00

Ledley King says the arrival of Lee Barnard on the first team scene is something he has been anticipating for a little while now.

Ledley King says the arrival of Lee Barnard on the first team scene is something he has been anticipating for a little while now.

The reserve sharp-shooter, with 19 goals to his name this season following on from his total of 18 last term, has been rewarded for his progress with a spot on the bench in recent games.

His big moment came when he was summoned from his warm-up to make his senior Spurs debut against Manchester United on Easter Monday. United were standing firm with their 2-1 lead, but Barney set about making a nuisance of himself and won a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions.

The skipper was not at the Lane to witness the debut of his fellow Academy product, but was glued to the television and was happy to see the 21-year-old take the next big step.

"I have worked with him over the last two or three years and have seen what a talent he is," said Ledley. "He seems to be getting better, his goalscoring record in the reserves speaks for itself, and you were just wondering when he was going to get his chance. There was not much more he could do at reserve level.

"We have been waiting for him, he has been getting better and better training with the first team and he is a great finisher.

"Even in a big game like Man Utd on his debut you know if he had got a chance there would have been a great possibility of him putting it away," added the central defender, who also knows the striker is of the fearless variety and likes a tackle - as Gary Neville will testify to after he was left on his backside after a coming together.

"I saw that!" recalled Leds. "It was a great challenge from him and he actually won the ball, he put himself about, tried to make life difficult for the defenders and I am pleased for him."