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LOOKING AHEAD

Posted on 7 July 2006  - 12:00

Ledley King believes the boys will grow as a team over the course of the forthcoming campaign.

Ledley King believes the boys will grow as a team over the course of the forthcoming campaign.

Of course, significant progress was made last season, as reflected in fifth place and a 13 point improvement in the points tally. The skipper is confident this can be furthered in the new season as the maturity and experience of the group evolves.

"We will, but any footballer will tell you it is what they want," considered the England international who is nearing full fitness.

Ledley also suspects that many of the players will benefit from a busier fixture programme. Early cup exits last term meant a total of just 40 games last season but, with the UEFA Cup added to the mix along with hopefully extended domestic cup runs, it could all change this time around.

"Some of the players said we didn't play enough last season and that is why sometimes performances can be a little bit patchy.

"Some players need to play more than we did last season, others need more of a rest. I'm sure with the great people we have behind us here we will do everything to prepare for the amount of games we hope we have to play.

"It will be a great experience in the UEFA Cup, we did qualify for Europe once while I've been here and I was on the bench away to Kaiserslautern.

"I am not getting any younger and it is about time a few more of us got to sample football at that level," added Ledley, who knows the European nights at the Lane will be something special.

"Of course, the atmosphere was great throughout last season at every home game we had. The fans are there for us and get behind us.

"It will be no different in Europe, you can depend on our fans to be there and it is as exciting for them as it is for us. We'll all enjoy the adventure together."