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Pain cramps Taricco's style

Posted on 14 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Mauricio Taricco is hoping a touch of cramp doesn't cost him his place at Charlton on Saturday.

Summer capture Ben Thatcher was initially installed as first-choice left-back but injuries sustained against Everton on September 5 meant Taricco was handed his chance against West Ham on Monday.

He impressed for 75 minutes but then went down clutching the back of his leg. After a couple of attempts to run, it was clear he could not shake off a bout of cramp and Thatcher came on and impressed in the remaining 15 minutes.

Now it looks a close call for who will take the spot at The Valley. Taricco admitted: "I am not injured but you never know. Unfortunately I got cramp and there wasn't much I could do.

"I didn't want to continue and maybe get it again in a one-on-one situation so I came off in the end. I take that as a slip-up but there was nothing I could do."

The Argentinian star adapted a very realistic and professional approach to Thatcher's £5m arrival. He said at the time that football was now a squad game, there would be injuries and suspensions to consider and that it would be unprofessional to see Thatcher as a threat - a theory that took just five games to become reality.

Taricco said: "I was great to start against West Ham but as I've said, it is a long season and there will be a battle for places all around the pitch.

"It was even better to get three points, especially as we haven't beaten West Ham for quite a long time. We battled away and in the end I thought we got on top and had three or four good chances to score more goals but 1-0 is still three points.

"It has been a good start and last season was the same. We know we need to keep battling away and try not to concede goals because we know we have good players up front - players who can finish the game off. We are playing a relaxed game and we know we have the power to score goals and win games. That is what we have done at home in all three games so far."