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ROCHA ON DEBUT DAY

Posted on 31 January 2007  - 12:00

When it came to first impressions, stepping out at White Hart Lane for his debut last weekend provided a lasting one for Ricardo Rocha.

When it came to first impressions, stepping out at White Hart Lane for his debut last weekend provided a lasting one for Ricardo Rocha.The central defender, recruited from Benfica last week, was quickly into action against Southend and could well feature again when we make the short trip to the Emirates Stadium tonight for winner takes all second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.

Ricardo played a part in the first goal when he snapped up the ball on the edge of our area and launched the counter attack that led to Robbie Keane opening the scoring - a significant part of what was a memorable day for the Portuguese international.

"It was fantastic, the fans are unbelieveable and support the team all the time," said the 28-year-old. "It is amazing.

"It was important for the team to get through, I think we played well and managed to score three goals. Michael Dawson was fantastic to play alongside and we have a great team. We now have to improve more to make good things happen.

"I didn't have any problems, it was my first game, everybody was supporting me and that was very, very important. We won and that was the best bit," he added, the worst probably being the split lip he sustained before the break.

"I'll have to get used to it! This was against a Championship team and I was told they would be tough but, okay, no problem."

On to Carling Cup business and Ricardo, who was introduced to the fans before the 1st leg, simply emphasised the one-off nature of the game.

"Whoever wins goes through to the final so we have to play a good game. They have a good team and are playing at home, but we will be doing everything to make sure it is us who makes the final.

"We played a very good game at White Hart Lane in the first half, the second we weren't so good but we had chances. We will do our best to make sure it has a happy ending for us."