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Programme: Matthew Etherington

Posted on 10 April 2001  - 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).

<I><B>Ashley Weller catches up with winger Matthew Etherington.</I></B> <P class=MsoNormal>You have come on as a substitute in recent Premiership games, how do you feel you did? <P class=MsoNormal>I had a run out for the last 10 minutes or so against Arsenal at Highbury and although that wasn&rsquo&#59;t much time to make an impact, the experience was great for me. It&rsquo&#59;s great to be involved in big games like that, the atmosphere was fantastic. <P class=MsoNormal>I also got on towards the end of the game here against Leeds United, we were 1-2 down already so again it was difficult to get into the game. We were really chasing the match by that stage. <P class=MsoNormal>But although I didn&rsquo&#59;t get much of a chance to influence the game, it was another opportunity that I am grateful for. It was still a good experience for me to get on against another quality side. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>What other first team opportunities have you had recently? <P class=MsoNormal>I came on as substitute against Charlton Athletic at home in the Premiership, I got 20 minutes in that match and, although it&rsquo&#59;s for others to judge, I felt that I did quite well. I was back on the bench for the following game against Charlton in the Cup, although I didn't get on, the next one was against Leeds. So I have been involved in the last few games, on the bench, I was called on a couple of times so I'm just waiting and hoping for more opportunities. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>Are you pleased with how your first team career has progressed so far this term? <P class=MsoNormal>I am happy with how those brief appearances went. At least I am involved, I am knocking on the door again. I know there are a few injuries, but I am getting my chance so I have really got to show the manager what I can do. It's just a matter of when I get any opportunities, however small, I have got to take them. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>How do you feel about the reputation of big clubs and the need for big money signings? <P class=MsoNormal>I realise, like all the younger players here, that the club wants new players and is looking to bring in additional quality to strengthen the squad. But it is up to us to show that we can play for Tottenham, that we are good enough to play for Tottenham. <P class=MsoNormal>I'm still young, I'm only 19, so hopefully I have still got plenty of years ahead of me. As I say, I've just got to bide my time, keep doing well in the Reserves and look to take it from there. I have been happy with my form this season and that gives me the confidence that I'll do alright. <P class=MsoNormal> <P class=MsoNormal>Has your early taste of first team football, so soon after you signed for the club, been a help or a frustration? <P class=MsoNormal>I think it was good to get an opportunity so early because I then knew what I had to achieve and improve on to get to the top. I don't think I disgraced myself in those early games but I also accept that I have a lot to learn. I started against Manchester United and played at Anfield and Leicester City, among others, and I felt I did OK. It proved to me that I could play Premiership football and compete against some of the top teams. You don't really get much higher than playing Manchester United away. <P class=MsoNormal> <P class=MsoNormal>You are good friends with Simon Davies who arrived here with you from Peterborough. Has his first team success encouraged you? <P class=MsoNormal>It definitely spurs you on when you see any of the youngsters doing well, not just Simon, but Ledley King, Luke Young and the others. You think, maybe I could do that as well so it is good for everybody. <P class=MsoNormal>But Simon has done particularly well, he got his chance against Stockport County in the F.A. Cup and scored two good goals. I'm really pleased for him. It brings it home to me that maybe if I can get my chance I could do the same thing. <P class=MsoNormal>It is good that the youngsters are doing well, it's good for us and it is encouraging for the future of the club. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>It is now just over a year since you both signed from United, how would you sum up life at Spurs so far? <P class=MsoNormal>It has been brilliant since we came here. Everyone is really friendly, and we have both settled in well. It&rsquo&#59;s a great environment for us to progress. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>What do you want from the rest of the season? <P class=MsoNormal>To keep there or thereabouts with the first team really. I realise that I have got time on my side, but it is nice to get an opportunity here and there. If I do get a good chance for me to prove myself then I have got to take it, and hopefully I will. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal>How has the Reserve season been going for you? <P class=MsoNormal>I have been happy with my form in the Reserves. Although it is not the same playing in front of 100 people, instead of so many thousands, it is still a good standard of football. You play against some good players, Premier League players, and that&rsquo&#59;s a great test. I couldn't have asked for much more at that level really. You learn things in those games and you are building up your fitness and your strengths all the time. I have felt my game coming on all through the season so that is a good thing. I&rsquo&#59;m obviously eager for more first team opportunities but I know I have to bide my time. <P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;