Unfortunately, due to our holiday printing deadlines, I am writing these notes while waiting for all our international players to report back and keeping my fingers crossed that they return fit and well.
That means that I am unable to refer to our tough trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday but we were all buoyed by our success at Fulham and want to build on that performance.
I have always believed that you need luck in this game and we certainly had a bit at Craven Cottage, particularly with our opening goal. But that in itself made a nice change as we’ve had some cruel misfortune at times this season and have suffered as a result.
I am not one for records or looking to the past but I was told this week that I have now been here at Spurs for a year and I have to say that time has flown.
Overall, the year has gone relatively well. We have played some lovely football in the traditions of the Club although we all would have been a lot happier if we had won the Worthington Cup and with it a place in Europe to look forward to.
The chief frustration has concerned our injured players. We have had to cope without six or seven ‘long termers’ for just about the whole campaign and undoubtedly that’s held us back but now we have to be positive and simply look forward to getting them back for the start of the new season.
Their absence has meant that we have been unable to freshen up the side at crucial times — particularly Christmas when we ended up losing games that, on paper, we should have won. As with most other clubs, we had a lot of games over a short period but the difference here was that we were unable to make too many changes and became fatigued as a result.
But we have to see this season as a transitional one. The foundations for the future have certainly gone in, we’ve played some good football at times — particularly in the cups — and now we have to ensure that we finish as high up the league table as possible. It’s all about us putting a good run together but, in the end, we’ll finish where we deserve to because that’s what this league is all about.
We are also planning a new pitch for the coming season because, the current one is six years old. If you want to be a passing team as we do then you need a good surface and that’s another bonus for us to anticipate.
Looking back on international week, it was good to see Ledley King make his senior England debut. No one here is surprised that he has made that transition but it’s a great feeling when it actually happens. The fact that he is in the squad so close to the World Cup means that he has every chance of staying there and the same can be said of Teddy Sheringham who is a great player, whether starting a game or coming off the bench.
In closing, congratulations to our youngsters on reaching the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. They lost narrowly 2-1 in the first leg at Everton last week but we are confident that they can overcome that deficit in the return here on Wednesday evening. Get here to support them if you can because it should be another excellent game.
And get behind the lads again this afternoon. Your support is always appreciated and makes a bigger difference than you might imagine.
This afternoon I am delighted to welcome David O’Leary and his Leeds United team. They are up there challenging and represent a tough hurdle for us but we are determined to finish the season with a flourish.