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Pride of London

English Barclays Premiership

Spurs kick-off the first of eight London derbies in the Premiership this season against West Ham at the Lane on Monday night.

With so much pride and passion on show in every derby they have become a real barrier for capital clubs to overcome if they want to challenge for the championship.

We certainly haven't had the best of times in recent years against our London rivals. Even though we beat Arsenal at the Lane last season, we still only managed two wins out of eight derbies and manager George Graham knows it is an area his side has to improve on.

He also knows how difficult it is for a side in London to challenge domestically. He said: "In all these local derbies players are playing for pride and that makes them all the harder. They are also great levellers.

"They are all quality sides in London as well. If you were to finish top of that London league you will have had a good season."

It has been business as usual over the weekend with training on Saturday and Sunday at Spurs Lodge in preparation for Monday's potential cracker live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

"I've nothing but admiration for the players," added Graham. "To have lost two quality players inside 35 minutes against Everton and to come back and win from 2-0 down shows tremendous character. I just hope we can get a good result against West Ham now."