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TEEMU MEETING DEMANDS

Posted on 7 December 2005  - 12:00

Teemu Tainio says he is gradually becoming accustomed to the demands placed on a midfielder in the English Premiership.

Teemu Tainio says he is gradually becoming accustomed to the demands placed on a midfielder in the English Premiership.

The gritty, yet skilful, middleman hooked up with us in the summer after spending seven years playing for Auxerre in France and has been an impressive figure in all four midfield positions - and in an advanced attacking role. Phrases like 'duck to water' spring to mind in terms of Teemu's adaption process, but the player himself hints it is not quite as simple as that.

"Little by little I am getting used to it more," reasoned the Finland international. I have been playing on the left side but I have played all over before so it is not a problem for me. The most important thing is just to play.

"I have to find the right balance. The English league is much more interesting than in France, you have less time with the ball and that is the main thing I have to get used to.

"I think that is the hardest part along with the physical side."

Teemu has sampled something of a Premiership contrast in our last batch of games, the big build-up and occasion of encounters against the likes of Arsenal

This compared with the equally tough but less high profile meetings with Bolton, West Ham, Wigan and Sunderland.

While most of the mentioned teams have enjoyed strong starts to the season, they do offer great variety in terms of style of a kind that Teemu has not come across before.

"It is true, there are different types of games here, but always three points on offer in the end that we are targeting. I think every game is good but, of course, everybody likes to play against the traditionally big teams like Manchester United.

"I really like playing in games against the likes of Wigan and Bolton - they were difficult games..

"It is not like in France. There were some special games like against Marseille, Paris Saint Germain and Lyon, of course. The difference in the games is not so big as over here.

"I like playing against all styles of team - but it is always nice to beat some superstars!"