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Same again for Les

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).

For man of all seasons Les Ferdinand, pre-season training must feel like a recurring theme — and he’s been through it a few times.

"You’re not wrong," laughed the charismatic 34-year-old. "Something like 14 or 15."

While Les concedes that the gruelling summer ritual doesn’t get any easier, he is also willing to admit that it does have its benefits.

"You know it’s always the toughest time of the season, but every professional knows that once he’s got a good pre-season under his belt he feels better for it. Pre-season is always hard work."

Our bustling striker does, however, point out that the process of pre-season training and friendlies is just about putting fuel in the tank — the actual performance levels cannot be honed until the Real Thing starts in earnest.

"You don’t feel any match-sharpness until you actually start playing matches. You can do as much pre-season as you like and it’ll get you to a certain level of fitness, but it won’t get you to match fitness. You have to be playing games to get that, proper competitive games.

"You could have ten pre-season games, but it’s never the same until you get into two or three competitive matches."

Les finished the last campaign with a bang, two to be precise, against Manchester United and is eager to pick up where he left off next time around. But, typically, Les is always grateful to be there in the first place.

"You finish one season, you look forward, and if you’re fortunate enough to make another season then you want to start off the same way you finished if you were playing well."

By Richard Hubbard