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Carrick plays it low-key

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).

Michael Carrick revealed that he prefers to play down the significance of the trip to his native North East to face boyhood favourites Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter final on Sunday.

For the Wallsend-born midfielder, it is probably one of the biggest games of his club career looming, but he not really looking at the fixture in that way - although not denying the magnitude of the occasion.

"Not really, to be honest," he smiled. "I know it is a big game but I don't want to build it up too much. I believe we can go there and win, it is as simple as that really and I don't want to get too carried away with any other business."

So is the 23-year-old generally 'just another game' type of of player?

"In a way, yes. I try to be, if you get too wound up for occasions it can backfire a bit. If we just play our normal game hopefully it will be good enough," he added, reporting that his family and friends will be in attendance.

"Obviously it is a good draw from that side of things. All my pals and family will probably be more excited than me. It is a special game for me, don't get me wrong, but it is one I am trying to play down a bit and get on with the job."

Michael knows full well the craving the Geordie public have for FA Cup glory and suspects their team will pick up some neutral support from people who want to see the retiring Alan Shearer pick up a trophy for his home town club.

"They are desperate to win something up there, they are still in the UEFA Cup, but I would have thought they look at the FA Cup as being their best chance of success. We feel the same thing so it is going to be a battle up there and we hope to come out on top.

"The biggest game of the season for me was always watching the FA Cup final, it always had that something special about it - especially when it was at Wembley. It has taken a bit of stick over the last few years, but is coming back strongly again and is something that everyone wants to win.

"I think even the neutrals are hoping that Shearer can win something at Newcastle. There has been a big thing made of it over the last couple of years and, from my point of view, it would be great to see him do it. Obviously I would prefer him to win the UEFA Cup."