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The Ipswich view of Spurs

Posted on 18 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

John Scales returns to White Hart Lane on Saturday declaring: "You’ll do better than you have for a number of years." Scales is expected to take his place in Ipswich Town’s defence for the newcomers’ Premiership baptism against former team-mates he only left behind in the summer.

The popular centre-back left us on a free transfer for Portman Road after injury ruined his spell at the Lane following his £2.6m move from Liverpool back in December 1996. Persistent calf problems restricted him to just 11 appearances in his last two seasons and he featured only four times last term.

He is now concentrating on a new club and a new challenge in Suffolk but insists he expects bigger things from the team he left behind.

"I think Spurs will do better than they have for a number of years," he said. "With the summer arrivals there are quality players throughout the squad and strength in depth.

"The long-term injuries have also come back and that hasn’t been the case for two or three years. That will be a huge plus. I expect privately the club is pretty optimistic."

Scales, 33, is certainly optimistic about Town’s target this season — Premiership survival. "We have to maintain our Premiership status and then consolidate," he added. "There is no point going up and down like a yo-yo between the divisions.

"I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen at Ipswich so far and the quality of players George Burley has brought to the club. There is also a collective spirit and work ethic, which is vital. The training has been to a high standard and the players are focussed day-in, day-out. I think we stand a good chance of achieving our aim."

Scales’ former Spurs team-mate Stephen Carr hopes the ex-England international’s move works out.

"John’s a very nice bloke and deserves a run of form," said Carr. "He was very unlucky with injuries with us and I bet he can’t wait for the season to start. He’s a good player, proved that at Wimbledon and Liverpool and it just went wrong for him here. I wish him all the best."

Come back later for our team news and George Graham's Friday afternoon news conference.