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Captain's pride

Robbie Keane has pointed to the strength of Harry Redknapp's squad following our Carling Cup victory over Everton on Tuesday night.

Robbie Keane has pointed to the strength of Harry Redknapp's squad following our Carling Cup victory over Everton on Tuesday night.

The captain reserved special praise for the trio of Alan Hutton, Gareth Bale and David Bentley - players with just one league start between them so far this season!

They were among five changes to the side that had been defeated by Stoke City on Saturday and all certainly gave the manager something to think about ahead of Saturday's North London derby against Arsenal with first class performances against the Merseysiders.

Robbie, who scored the second goal in our 2-0 success over David Moyes' side, believes the heightened competition for places that will no doubt result ahead of our trip to the Emirates can only be a good thing.

He said: "It was a convincing win and the performance was superb at times, especially the way we attacked them down the flanks.

"I thought Alan Hutton was outstanding down the right and also Gareth Bale on the other flank. People forget how young Gareth is and what a top player he will go on to be for years to come.

"David Bentley was also excellent and you just have to look at the performances from each and every one of the players who came into the side from not having played much recently.

"There's going to be competition for places with everyone fighting to be in the squad for Saturday and I think a few of the performances out there will give the manager a headache."

After Tom Huddlestone had given us a first half lead, Robbie scored the all-important second to send us through to the last eight of the competition for the fourth season in a row.

It came as a result of him winning, and then subsequently missing, a penalty - although it fell to him once again after several blocked shots and the striker made no mistake second time around.

He joked: "I changed my mind at the last minute with the penalty but I was lucky that it fell to me again after what must have been the 26th ricochet!

"But it was a good team performance with everyone involved and we also won with a bit of style, passing the ball really well with good movement.

"It was also important that we got the win in 90 minutes because the last thing we wanted was to go to extra time."

The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Saturday.