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Tony's learning curve

Posted on 25 April 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).

Anthony Gardner says he's learning every time he pulls on a Spurs shirt.

The 20-year-old is determined to finish on a high culminating with a place in the England squad for the European U21 Championships in May.

Playing - and impressing, as he has - against the best in the Premiership will certainly help that cause.

And having faced Boksic, Viduka, Fowler, Henry, Bergkamp, Kanoute, Bobic and Ricketts in the last few weeks, he comes up against Owen, Anelka and co when Liverpool visit the Lane on Saturday.

Antony said: "You learn a lot playing against the great strikers.

"You analyse games after as well, see where you can improve and take positives from what you've done well against the players, things you can use against them when you face them again."

The tall, elegant defender says he's happy with how his season has gone - not least after a knee ligament injury sustained in the last game of last terms kept him sidelined until October.

He's been in and around the first team since December and racked up another 17 appearances in total, starting the last seven.

He reflected: "I had the injury right at the end of last season and I thought it would set me back a couple more months than it did.

"I was back in October and that wasn't too bad. I can't complain about where I am now and the amount of games I've played. I'd have been more than happy with 15, 20 games.

"I want to play in every game. It's valuable to my experience and development. The more games I play, against good oppsition, the more my game will come on and the more confidence I'll get."

On the international front, having made his debut against Italy, Anthony was disappointly left out of David Platt's U21 squad for the most recent friendly against Portugal.

He added: "There were a couple of lads who were injured and came back into the squad, so I wasn't too disappointed.

"I've still got a chance of going away. There are a few games left so I will have to play in them and see what happens."