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Paul's got the Blackburn buzz

Posted on 12 March 2002  - 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).

Stylish Academy defender Paul O'Donoghue admits he is buzzing at the prospect of playing in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Blackburn Rovers at the Lane tonight.

Our under-18 side will take the field just before 7pm for their first home game of the competition, having overcome Walsall, Bolton and Leeds on the road in the previous rounds.

Getting ready for the big night at Spurs Lodge on Monday, centre-half Paul confirmed that there was real excitement in the camp and that coach Pat Holland has been putting the squad through their paces in a big way.

"Buzzing massively," said the 17-year-old. "It's been very intense, Pat's been working us and we've been doing a lot on defending. He's been giving the lowdown on them so basically we know what we have to do. We'll have to go out there and do our best.

"The preparation is not really that different, because we treat every game with the utmost respect, but when it's a cup game and there's only one chance, of course we're going to go out and give it that extra ten per cent."

Paul, who has enjoyed reserve experience in Colin Calderwood's side, says the boys would welcome a sizeable crowd for their big night.

"Hopefully, it's always good to play in front of a crowd. But if there's not then we'll have to try and get to the semi-final then the final and then they can come and watch that."

Paul is aware, however, that playing at the Lane will bring its own pressures after succeeding on the road so far.

"It is. All the office people are going to come and watch and hopefully the first team manager and John Gorman will be there to watch us. With the other games being so far away they would have done well to get up there, so hopefully they'll come and see us and see what we can do."

And the nerves?

"It's always going to be there. It's a quarter-final of a big competition, there are always going to be nerves. But if I use them in the right way it can only help me."

The boys were going through a spotkick routine towards the end of their session on Monday and Paul claims he more than a useful penalty taker...

"Me? Yeah, three out of three!"

The FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Blackburn Rovers at the Lane kicks off at 7pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £1 concessions.