PROGRAMME COLUMN v CHELTENHAM - Saturday, January 7
It has been a great first half of the season for us. To be sitting third in the Premier League table with 42 points at the halfway point with 19 league games played is amazing when you consider the start we made.
It has taken a great effort from the players. We are right up there and we have a lot to look forward to now as we enter the second half of the campaign, including our opening FA Cup fixture of the season here this afternoon.
FA Cup Final day was the best day of the year when I was growing up. Everyone looked forward to it, the streets would be empty.
You watch it on TV when you’re a kid and you dream about playing in it one day and when you get into management, you dream about leading a team out at Wembley.
It was great to win the FA Cup with Portsmouth and now I would love to do the same with Tottenham. It was a special day and one I will never forget so the competition will always have great importance to me.
We are in two competitions for the remainder of the season, the Premier League and the FA Cup, and we want to be right there in both of them if we can. We would all love nothing better than to reach a cup final and I believe that with this squad, we have a real chance of doing so.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the management, players and supporters of today’s visitors Cheltenham Town.
Their manager Mark Yates has done a great job since taking charge at Whaddon Road two years ago. They are clearly looking to win promotion this year and they are also playing some fantastic football.
You look at their record and they are flying right now so it will be an interesting game. They will come here and really have a go.
We won’t be underestimating them. This is an important match for us and we will give Cheltenham the same respect that we give every side we play.
We are currently in the middle of a busy run of fixtures so I will certainly think about making one or two changes today. There are some top players who haven’t seen much action lately, including Michael Dawson who I hope will be fit to make his first appearance today in over four months following his injury.
I would like to conclude my column by sending my condolences to the family of Roy Madden, who passed away after suffering a heart attack at Tuesday’s match against West Bromwich Albion. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
I hope you have a good afternoon.