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The Final Countdown - The King is back!

Posted on 21 February 2002  - 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).

Ledley King is back in training and ready to stake a claim for a cup final place on Sunday.

Our stylish young defender was forced to withdraw from the England squad to face Holland after a well deserved call-up due to tonsillitis and missed out on our FA Cup 5th round encounter with Tranmere at the weekend.

But he was back strutting his stuff at Spurs Lodge this week and reports that he is recovered and raring to go.

"I'm feeling a lot better now," he told us, before revealing the chain of events that led him to leave the England party without winning his first cap.

"I started to feel it on the Monday night, the first day I was away really. I was trying to battle on with it and hoped it would get better, but it seemed to get worse.

"I informed the England doctor and I was on some medication, but it didn't get any better and unfortunately I had to pull out.

"Definitely disappointed, but these things happen and hopefully I'll get another chance.

"I'm still on antibiotics at the moment. I'll be taking them for the next week or so to make sure it doesn't come back.

"I should be fit for Sunday. It was my first training session back and I don't feel too bad and I'll just carry on working hard until the end of the week."

So what are Ledley's reflections on his short stay in the England camp?

"It was great, the training was really good and the quality was top class. It was nice just to be around top quality players."

Such has been Ledley's progress this season, he himself describes the campaign so far as a 'dream'. He now hopes that the dream unfolds with a winners' medal on Sunday, but he does not feel it will be easy with the threat of Andy Cole and Matt Jansen.

"The season has been a dream really, it's what I really hoped for. Everything that has happened is what I was hoping for. It will be nice when I look back and reflect on how it's gone.

"I think it's going to be a tight game. They are a good side and have got some good players. It'll be tight with not too many goals like the last game we played. I'm quite confident.

"I think they're both Jansen and Cole are a threat, different players, both good in front goal. We'll have to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't get too many chances."

Ledley admits that the nerves will kick in on Sunday, but he says it is a sensation he thrives on.

"I'm always nervous before games. I enjoy my nerves, it helps me to prepare."

But will the nerves come in a double dose with it being a major final?

"Possibly a little bit, but that will be up until just before the game - once I'm on the pitch the nerves go and I'm just normal."

By Richard Hubbard