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New, improved Ziege

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).

Christian Ziege did not hesitate with his reply when asked whether fans can expect to see the same player following his recovery from a career-threatening injury.

The German international admits that his outlook on life has altered since that fateful Boxing Day evening when he was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery on his greatly enlarged thigh.

He says that he has learned to appreciate his good fortune in being able to play football at the highest level and feels that Spurs supporters will see an improved Christian Ziege during the course of the forthcoming season.

"You realise more how lucky you are," he pondered. "I came on the pitch when we were 4-0 down against Blackburn Rovers and for the supporters it was not nice. For me, I was just happy to be there - even at 4-0 - running with my teammates on the pitch and in front of the supporters.

"I think - I hope - that will definitely come back to the same stage and I think that the supporters might see a better player.

"I feel alright, fitness-wise, and don't see any bad things. Like I said, I trained over the summer and I don't think there is a problem.

"I will try to be better than before."

Before he elegantly struts his stylish stuff at the Lane again there is the small matter of pre-season training to contend with - and Christian is certainly putting in the hard yards out here in La Manga. He explained that the ritual is one that he has not had to contend with for a few years.

"This pre-season is my first since I cannot remember. Most of the time I was late because I was involved with the national team, so I had my own little pre-season.

"You don't enjoy it - not at all. It is always the same and for any footballer it is the worst time. You need it though and we have to work hard to make sure that we are really fit."