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Walker: I don't want to leave

Posted on 9 November 2000  - 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).

Ian Walker has declared: “I don’t want to leave Tottenham.”

The goalkeeper slapped in a transfer request earlier this season after losing his number one spot to summer arrival Neil Sullivan.

But Walker is hoping he can now ‘sort something out’ as he continues to battle for his place back.

The England international said: “I asked for a transfer but that was probably out of the frustration of not being able to play. It is still the case that I’m not happy that I’m not playing but hopefully we can sort something out. I don’t really want to leave Tottenham.

“I wanted to show that I wasn’t happy and the manager obviously understands that I’m not happy about it but he has said to me that it is a difficult situation for him as well.

“He’s brought Neil in, decided he’s going to play him first and so it’s up to me to try and battle my way back into the team.

“He said he thought that I played really well at Coventry (pictured) but then I didn’t keep my place. We lost, which didn’t help me, but I was pleased with how I played.

“Obviously I’m going to be disappointed if it goes past Christmas and I haven’t had another chance. We’re a third of a way through the season already and it is difficult but I just have to keep plodding away and hope something turns.”

Few can question Walker’s attitude so far this season despite his situation.

Goalkeeping coach Hans Segers revealed in October that he was delighted with Walker’s professionalism in both training and reserve games.

Walker insisted: “I’ve been working really, really hard and I think anyone who has been around the training ground has seen that. If you asked Hans he would say the same thing. I can’t train harder than I have been.

“I’m trying to put pressure on but perhaps the fact that I’ve asked for a transfer hasn’t gone in my favour as far as if I hadn’t maybe the manager would have thought about me a bit more.

“It’s difficult for him to turn around and put me in the team when I’ve asked for a transfer. That’s weighing on my mind a bit as well so I’ll have a think about it over the next week and see if we can come up with a solution.”

In the meantime Walker will have to contend with a place on the bench in the Premiership arena he craves for while having to play in front of scarcely-populated stadiums for the reserves — like he did at Derby’s Pride Park on Tuesday.

Was it difficult to motivate himself? “I’ve been wanting to try and do well and I suppose it has been a bit hard to stay motivated but I’ve trained really hard with Hans and Neil and I feel good in myself,” he added.

“But when you’ve been working so hard - and I’ve been working hard now for three months and only played one game at Coventry - then it’s difficult to keep going.

“I know I have to do that and we’ll just have to see how things progress from now on.

“I miss playing in front of crowds, playing in pressure situations so it is difficult. I’ve been out for three months before and I’ve got to wait and see what happens.”

To listen to Ian's thoughts, click here

By Paul Miles