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TIGER'S FEAT

Posted on 30 July 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol spoke in glowing terms about Teemu Tainio after the midfielder's match-winning display against Inter Milan on Sunday.

Martin Jol spoke in glowing terms about Teemu Tainio after the midfielder's match-winning display against Inter Milan on Sunday.

The boss - who revealed that Teemu is nicknamed 'Tiger' by his team-mates - added that he was satisfied with the 2-1 friendly win against the newly-crowed Serie A champions although conceded that collectively we didn't play particularly well on our return to the Lane.

That didn't apply to Teemu though. The all-action Finnish international opened the scoring from his starting role in central midfield with a wickedly-deflected shot after 38 minutes before clinching victory with a stunning solo effort after 79 minutes. By then he'd switched to right-back and having won the ball deep in our half, charged forward fully 50 yards before curling a perfect left-foot shot into the corner.

"I think every Spurs fan knows Teemu Tainio by now," reflected Martin. "He never lets you down.

"They call him 'Tiger' in the squad and he is a tiger. He can play in the midfield, on the left, in the hole, on the right, as a holding midfield player - he's second to none.

"He can play right-back now as well and he already did that in another pre-season friendly. What can I say? He's a great team player."

Summer arrivals Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Dimitar Berbatov made their Lane debuts with Dimitar lining-up alongside Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe - a familiar sight this pre-season. With Paul Stalteri still out, Wayne Routledge started at right-back.

"Sometimes you have to create your own options," said Martin. "If you play Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov you can't also play with a wing player. Wayne could be a surprise, it's a gamble but he did well.

"It's always nice to win against opponents like Inter Milan. Last season we did the same and it's very good to do well against different systems and different opponents.

"I don't think we played particularly well but we've worked hard in training, had a very hard session on Friday and trained again on Saturday."

Sunday's victory made it six friendly wins in six this summer - Bordeaux, Nice, Celta Vigo, Birmingham City, Stevenage Borough and now Inter Milan.

"There is a very good mentality in the squad but the only thing is we now have to win the next game," added Martin.

"The last game isn't important anymore. We have to win a lot of games next season because we want to challenge for Europe again and do well in the cups."