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Gio's still smiling

Giovani dos Santos is staying positive despite the disappointment of his injury at Preston a fortnight ago really hitting home this week.

Giovani dos Santos is staying positive despite the disappointment of his injury at Preston a fortnight ago really hitting home this week.

The ankle ligament sprain suffered just 15 minutes into our Carling Cup third round win at Deepdale has acted as a double blow for the popular winger.

For a start, it denied Gio the opportunity to further impress Harry Redknapp after doing so well in his first start of the campaign at Doncaster in the second round of the Carling Cup in September.

Secondly, it has ruled him out of what is likely to be a World Cup celebration in Mexico City this weekend.

Mexico need just one win from their final two qualifying matches against El Salvador on Saturday and Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday to book their place in South Africa next summer.

Gio has been in outstanding form for Mexico throughout the CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean) qualification process but will now miss out as they approach the final hurdle.

Wilson Palacios' Honduras are also in the frame as three out of USA, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica will go through to the finals.

The fourth-placed team will then take on the fifth-placed team in South America in a play-off - that could be Argentina.


Back to the injury though.

Boss Harry spoke positively about Gio in the build-up to the Preston game - ‘fitter, leaner, great ability, he can develop into a top player' - and he'd struck the crossbar in the fifth minute when he was caught by a lunging tackle that ended his night early.

"I was fit and I was in good form so it was disappointing to get injured," reflected Gio with a smile still on his face at Spurs Lodge on Tuesday.

"It was my opportunity to show my coach that I'm ready to play in the team.

"When I was on the floor I thought ‘oh no, it's the same injury as last season' because I had the same injury on the other ankle. I tried to continue but it was impossible, I felt too much pain.

"My first thought was that I'd suffered bad luck but two or three days afterwards, I just thought about getting back, getting fit and getting strong again. I'm still very young and when I come back I can do the same and show the coach I'm ready to play."

With that in mind, Harry's words must have been music to the former Barcelona winger's ears.

"It's good to hear that the coach is saying good things about me," he said.

"I was doing well in the national team as well as in training here and then in the Carling Cup at Doncaster.

"Even in the Preston game I felt sharp and I hit the crossbar in the fifth minute.

"I think the coach knows I'm a good player and I want to do well for Tottenham. I came here to play, I love the fans and they've always supported me and I have everything here."


Gio rolled his eyes at the mention of Mexico and missing out over the next week or so.

"It's very frustrating not to be with my national team," he sighed. "I was playing very well for Mexico. The good thing is that we only need to win one game and we are in the World Cup.

"I feel like ‘why am I injured now?' because I want to be playing at Spurs and I want to be in Mexico with my friends and with my team. But hopefully they will make it in the home game against El Salvador on Saturday. That would be perfect."