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Pre-season key for Niko

Niko Kranjcar says he'll reap the benefits of his extended pre-season programme.

Niko Kranjcar says he'll reap the benefits of his extended pre-season programme.

The Croatian international kicked-off his pre-season early as he recovered from an ankle injury sustained in the FA Cup semi-final on April 11.

He was back at Spurs Lodge for the final phase of his rehabilitation last week and has taken a full part in training as the players returned to Spurs Lodge this week.

"I feel really good," said Niko, who played a starring role on either flank before his injury last term, scoring eight goals in 32 appearances. "I'm more or less back to doing everything.

"I've been working hard to get the ankle back to good health and hopefully I'll benefit from a longer pre-season than usual."

Niko admitted it was tough to sit out the crucial final month of the season as we put together wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, Bolton and City to secure fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and book a Champions League play-off spot.

But he never doubted the lads. "I always had confidence in the team and it was a great effort to get fourth," he added.

"I watched the City match from home and I must say, I've never felt so comfortable watching a game of football. We dominated it."