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Old boys talk Wolves

Posted on 6 December 2003  - 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).

Ahead of our clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Lane on Saturday, we got former Molineux stars Robbie Keane and Dean Richards together for a chat about old times and to look ahead to the game.

Deano joined Wolves in 1995, with Robbie arriving a year later from Ireland. Both departed in July 1999, with the centre-half having made 145 senior appearances and the striker scoring 29 goals in 87 appearances.

You were together at Wolves - do you remember them as good days?
Robbie:
Yes, they were great days. I came over from Ireland at 15 years of age and everyone there made me feel at home straight away - I've got a lot of fond memories.

It must be great to see Wolves finally in the Premiership...
Robbie:
It took a long time and it is good to see. It is the place where they really belong and it is deserved by the huge support and the chairman. It is a massive club and one that should be in the Premiership.

How difficult was it to deal with the expectation of promotion to the Premiership while you were at the club?
Robbie:
At 17-year-old I didn't really notice too much - I just got in the team and wanted to play football. It was not about pressure for me, just enjoyment.

What do you remember at the time Dean about a young Irishman coming through the ranks?
Deano:
Keith Andrews? Yeah, he's done well! No, I remember Robbie coming over to train with us and you could see from day one that he had a lot of talent and ability. For a young kid training with the first team he didn't seem fazed at all - the complete opposite really.

He wasn't shy then?
Deano:
He made his debut against Norwich at 17 and I didn't play as I was injured. He scored two goals and cartwheeled after both of them - and is still doing it now. So he came in and was doing the business straight away for us. You knew he was going to go quite far.

Did Dean knock you over a bit in training?
Robbie:
Nah - I put the ball through his legs a few times. To be fair, when I first came into the side Deano was one I would always speak to - I bought my first telly off Deano. I gave him a cheque for twelve hundred quid and moved the dot to try and make it twelve quid - you've got to try your luck?

Deano: He was trying to stitch me up even then!

Are there many people from your time still at Wolves?
Robbie:
Matt Murray is still one of my best mates, Lee Naylor and Keith Andrews are also there - me and Keith came over together. Unfortunately Matty is injured at the moment.

Deano: Jolean Lescott used to clean my boots and you've compared him to me - although he's probably a bit quicker than I am. A lot of clubs have watched him and, whenever I've seen him play, I've been very impressed. Unfortunately, I've heard that he is injured and is going to be out for the rest of the season. It is a shame because this season was a great opportunity for him to prove himself at this level.

Do Wolves look to you like they've got what it takes to survive in the Premiership?
Deano:
I'd like to think so. The first season is the most important for any club coming up, to get through it and build on that. The teams tend to get used to the demands of the Premier League and stick around for a while. Hopefully they will be alright.

If he plays, you could be up against Steffen Iversen on Saturday!
Deano:
I spoke to a journalist up there last week and he said that Steffen's form has been quite good. I think he struggled a bit when he first went there but is playing well now and I hope he is a success.

Do you expect to get a good reception from the travelling Wolves fans?
Robbie:
I'd like to think so. I went back there once for a friendly game with Coventry and the fans were great to me. I still go to the games there and the fans are always good with me so, like I said, I'd like to think so - but you never know.

You were linked with a move from Wolves virtually from the time you got into the side...
Robbie:
In the first year I was in the side there appeared to be a few clubs interested - I wanted to stay and was enjoying my football there. I was only a young lad and any move had to be the right decision for me. I wanted to get get to the Premiership with Wolves but that wasn't the case and I moved on to Coventry from there.

They've now got everything there to remain a Premiership club, the stadium is fantastic and the support they have in the midlands is bigger than anywhere. It's a massive club and I hope they can stay in.

Is reaching the Premiership reward for the support of chairman Sir Jack Hayward?
Robbie:
Yes and I am delighted for him. I still go to a few of the games and have a chat with him. He is a gentleman, his dream was to get Wolves into the Premiership and he's done that now.

What about the game?
Robbie:
It will be a tough game, they have been picking up a few results lately like a draw against Newcastle and I heard they deserved to win it. They might need the points, but we need the points as much as anyone so it is important that we bounce back after the result against Blackburn. I'm sure if we play the way we can play we will get a result.