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Programme: Willem Korsten

Posted on 4 November 2000  - 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).

<B>What's the latest on your fitness?</B><P class=MsoNormal>I've been a bit unfortunate with another injury this season but after a month and a half of training, good treatment and a solid run of games for the reserves, I am feeling really good. It's great to feel fit and I want to stay fit now. They say that in a career of 12 or 13 years, players tend to have a spell of around four years where they are hit by injuries, so hopefully I have already had mine and the rest of my career will be injury-free.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>What has been the problem?</B><P class=MsoNormal>Last year it was my ankle. I needed an operation to remove a piece of floating bone and I was out until November. I couldn't believe it when I started to feel a problem with my hip in pre-season this year. It was a similar situation and I needed another operation to take away another small piece of bone that had come away. I don't know what caused it, but it hasn't kept me out so long this time which means I've had time to get fit and push for a first team place.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>You were on target four times for the reserves against Leicester recently, have you ever scored four in a game before?</B><P class=MsoNormal>Yes, I have actually, when I played for Vitesse Arnhem, but at the moment it's more than just the goals which are important to me. For the first time in a while, my fitness is good and I feel great. The goals are a bonus, especially when I've been playing up front.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>So does that mean your best position is up front?</B><P class=MsoNormal>Personally, my best position is playing just behind the forwards. I've played in a number of positions, in Holland and at Leeds United, but playing 'in the hole' is definitely my favourite role. Of course, I am happy to play anywhere and with so many good strikers at the club at the moment, I'm going to have to work hard to keep my place.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>Injuries to Sergei and Steffen have opened the door for you in the first team, haven't they?</B><P class=MsoNormal>Yes, It's given me a chance to show the Tottenham supporters and the coaching staff what I can do. I started the game against Chelsea last week but it didn't go our way although we never deserved to lose 3-0. I had a good chance before they scored and I was surprised that Ed De Goey saved it, because I scored a few past him for Vitesse when he was playing for Feyenoord.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>How does the game here compare with back home in Holland?</B><P class=MsoNormal>The tempo of the game and the atmosphere are the two main differences. The Premiership is much more competitive than in Holland. Here, the action lasts for 90 minutes, but back home you might get 25 minutes of action, the rest is just passing without getting anywhere. I think that's the problem with our national side. We have great players who are technically superb but we never seem to win anything. There's too much passing without any end product. Also, the top three or four sides are always the same in Holland, as they are here, but outside of those teams, the rest of the league is not very good. In England though, you know you are going to have a tough game regardless of who you play. That's what I like about the game here.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>Are you optimistic you might one day play for your country?</B><P class=MsoNormal>I have played for the Under-21s and obviously I would love to play for the senior team, but first I must concentrate on playing regularly and playing well for Tottenham. A lot of the players who I played alongside in the Under-21s are in the senior side - Kluivert, Seedorf, Van Bronckhorst - but that's because they've all done well for their clubs.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>We are always being told how great the coaching system is in Holland, what are your thoughts on it?</B><P class=MsoNormal>I can't really comment on the coaching of youngsters here, but I know back home I had very good guidance from my football coaches. I was six when I started, which is younger than players start here, I think, so I have had plenty of coaching which can only help my career in the game. There's also a big emphasis on education for the young players in Holland, in case they don't make the grade. In England, you are starting to concentrate more on youth and I'm sure the game will benefit in the future.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>What made you decide to come to play in England?</B><P class=MsoNormal>I always wanted to play in England. Every player in Holland wants to play in Spain, England or Italy but for me it was always the Premiership. I used to watch Match of the Day when I was young and you could feel the atmosphere just sitting on the couch. I wanted to be part of it which is why I'm so pleased to be here.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal><B>A final thought on our season so far?</B><P class=MsoNormal>Clearly, our away form has to be better if we are to climb the table. We are doing well at home and in the first half-hour against Derby some of our football was excellent. But it's the same as last year with our away results and until we put that right, we are going to find it hard to reach the top six. To do well, teams must pick up points away from home and I hope we will start doing that soon. Tuesday night's defeat here by Birmingham was obviously greatly disappointing and a major setback but we must pick ourselves up again, starting today.<P class=MsoNormal><I>By Jon Rayner</I><P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p>