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A tough start for Ben

Wed 02 August 2000, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur

English Barclays Premiership

Ben Thatcher reckons our pre-season training programme has been tougher than Wimbledon's.

That might come as a surprise with the reputation of the Crazy Gang, but our L5m full-back revealed: "Pre-season has been very tough. It's a lot more physically demanding than at Wimbledon but I feel it's going okay. It's more demanding because we're out morning and afternoon, very hard work in training, then weights. It's a different routine and just takes time to get used to."

Thatcher settled in superbly on the Scandinavian tour and is already firmly one of the lads. "It was ideal for me but again, hard work," he said. "We were up at nine, breakfast, training in the morning, lunch, training in the afternoon, dinner, bed. I thought I settled in with lads well though. They are a great bunch and helped me on that front."

Fans were handed their first view of Thatcher in a Spurs' shirt on English soil in Saturday's 1-0 friendly win at Birmingham City. The left-back was impressive and charged forward throughout. "It was back to reality after the three games in Sweden," he said.

"It was a very tough game against a good First Division side, very big and physical. We did okay in the first half but they are probably ahead of us in their fitness because their season starts earlier and they came back well."

Next up for Thatcher and Spurs is a trip to Fulham on Wednesday (7.45pm). Even he knows how important it is to impress at Craven Cottage after last season's Worthington Cup disaster.

He added: "Maybe Fulham think they've got one over us because of the Worthington Cup game last season. I watched that and it would nice to avenge it. It will be a tough game. Once again, their season starts early so they'll be up and ready for it.

ASK BEN: Our newest signing has agreed to be the latest subject of a question and answer session, with his views carried on the web-site this weekend.
Email your questions to Ben here