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Zeki's Thursday thriller!

Posted on 28 February 2014  - 13:01

Zeki Fryers said Thursday ranks among the proudest days of his career so far after following up on his England Under-21 call-up by providing the assist for Emmanuel Adebayor’s decisive second goal against FC Dnipro.

Zeki wins a challenge on ThursdayThe celebrations after Ade's second, decisive strike

The 21-year-old full-back, making only his 10th first team appearance for us, sent in the cross which led to Ade putting us 3-1 up on the night – the goal which ensured our progress from the two-legged Europa League round of 32 tie and rendered Dnipro’s away strike irrelevant.

That key contribution to our European progress came just hours after Zeki was named in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad for next Wednesday’s European Championship qualifier against Wales.

So when all was said and done last night, it amounted to a special day in the life of the versatile defender.

“That was probably one of the most exciting games I’ve played in so far,” Zeki reflected. “I’m buzzing and I can’t think of many better days I’ve had so far.

“It was a great turnaround against Dnipro. Having already conceded a goal in the last game and being 1-0 down on aggregate – the lads showed great character to bounce back after going another goal behind.

“I think it was sheer desire and a bit of momentum that got us through. We found the goalscoring momentum and we kept going.”

Zeki paid tribute to defensive colleague Jan Vertonghen after the game, the experienced Belgian international having offered him support throughout the contest at White Hart Lane.

And the fans, who created a tremendous atmosphere on the night, also came in for praise.

“It’s a great feeling to have played a part in our progress,” Zeki added. “As a young lad, for me to play alongside some of the experienced lads we’ve got is brilliant. The senior lads always help you through the games and Jan helped me through this one. Having someone to guide you like that really helps.

“The fans were great as well. They got the stadium buzzing and they helped us a lot.

“We now meet Benfica in the next round. We know they are a massive team but it’s all to play for.”