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Carrick's challenge

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 insists that, given the start made to the campaign, the team must enter every game believing three points can be gathered.

The midfield recruit from West Ham, expected to feature in the 16 for the first time at Portsmouth tonight, was responding to the suggestion that the team might be wary of the next few fixtures - games that, on paper, they would be expected to win.

The trip to Fratton Park is followed by a home encounter with Bolton on Saturday, a Carling Cup meeting with the same opponents, a visit to Fulham and a home game with Charlton. All tough games, but only Bolton currently sit in the Premiership's top six.

Michael feels that the performances in the opening phase of the season - which included meetings with Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United and high-flying Everton - suggest the team can compete with any team in the league and there is no reason why this should not continue as the campaign progresses.

"I think we've got to go into every game thinking we can win it," said the 23-year-old. "With the start of the season we've had, the lads have shown they are a match for anyone and, if you want to stay around the top six, you've got to pick up points against whoever you are playing no matter where they are in the table."

Meanwhile, like Jermain Defoe last season, Michael's debut is likely to come against his former boss Harry Redknapp - a manager he rates very highly and is grateful to for his Premiership opportunity.

"He gave me my chance in the Premier League when I was 17 so I've got a lot to thank him for. He was tremendous, just look at the lads who came through the ranks at West Ham, Harry was a big part of that."

With Harry building another attack-minded outfit down on the south coast, Michael admits he cannot quite pinpoint the secret of his success.

"No, not really. Harry is Harry - what you see is what you get - and he's proved over the years that he is a top manager and he'll keep on proving it."