The Dutch international goalkeeper kept a clean sheet as we beat Leicester City 2-0 in last week’s third round replay at the King Power Stadium to set up this weekend’s fourth round meeting at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
It was the 32-year-old’s fourth appearance of the season, with Hugo Lloris largely occupying duties between the sticks as we’ve competed well on a number of fronts.
Always a thoughtful individual, Michel is understandably keen to see us take advantage of the positive momentum we’ve built up of late as we enter the second half of the campaign – and is ready to use his vast experience to aid our cause…
We saw squad rotation come into play at Leicester in our FA Cup replay last week. How well do you think it worked?
Michel Vorm: The strength of the squad at the moment is such that we can make changes but it doesn’t really hurt us. We’re playing so well, everybody knows their jobs very well and I know mine so full compliments to the staff. I work very well with Toni Jimenez (Goalkeeping Coach) and Hugo every day to prepare for games and you want to see results, so to have kept a clean sheet and seen us score twice last week meant everybody was happy.
How satisfying was it to get the better of Leicester after they beat us in the Premier League seven days earlier?
Michel: Everybody knows Leicester are having an amazing season and we’ve struggled against them a few times but if you win away like we did by scoring two goals and keeping a clean sheet then everyone is happy. Obviously I don’t play a lot of games so it would have been sad if we had gone out after one round, but the performance and the win was good and, as a team, we did very well.
What is the working relationship like between you and Hugo?
Michel: I chat with Hugo and I know that he’s happy for me and happy with the way we work with each other, as well as with the gaffer and Toni. I know my place but I think I’m also an important player in the squad – I’m the oldest and, with the experience I have, I try to talk about things with the other players and prepare for every game behind the scenes, which is where I feel I can be important to the team as well. Every week we prepare Hugo very well and he’s having an amazing season. I know nothing is going to change in that sense but I know that if it does change and I get a chance like I did against Leicester in the FA Cup, then I need to be there.
What’s it like being the oldest player in the squad?
Michel: It’s funny because time is flying and I don’t even feel 32! I was just talking about this with Josh (Onomah) recently – he’s only 18! That’s 14 years’ difference, but the lads also know that I’ve been to two World Cups, the European Championships and played at Utrecht, Swansea and now Spurs, so I’ve been in football for quite a long time and it’s easier to prepare for games with that experience. I’m still loving it, I’m fit and it’s good because although everybody knows that I’m older, I think I only look 26!
You alluded to it before, but how much of a chance do you get to impart your knowledge and experience on some of the younger lads?
Michel: I try to help and give advice where I can. I talk to Luke McGee and Tom Glover, two of our young keepers, a lot and try to share and talk about things with them – also with the outfield players as well.
Finally, everybody says there’s a real positive atmosphere around the squad at the moment. Have you noticed that too?
Michel: Yes – there’s a lot of quality and a lot of talent in the group and we can see that every week. I think the most important thing is to keep together as a whole squad. We made changes in the FA Cup against Leicester but everybody always gives 100 per cent and that’s something that we need to build on as there’s still a lot of games to play and a lot of points to win. It was good to see Sonny (Heung-Min Son) scoring last week, Nacer Chadli scoring as well, and that shows we have a lot of options, which is why everybody is happy. It’s a long season but everybody is involved – all 25 players. We need to stay focused until the last day of the campaign because we might be able to make this into a brilliant season.