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Simon's Czeching out time

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).

Simon Davies is hoping Wales can build on a positive result against Argentina when they take on the Czech Republic in Cardiff.

For Simon and his team mates, doing well in such tough friendly assignments is the ideal preparation for attempting to emerge successfully from group nine in the Euro 2004 qualifiers.

This group also features Italy, Yugoslavia, Finland and Azerbaijan. Not an easy prospect, so playing taxing friendlies is all about building towards that task.

"Yes," agreed Simon. "We got a good draw against Argentina and played quite well following our win against Belarus. So if we can get another good performance in against the Czech Republic and then against Germany in May, then we can be positive going into the qualifiers.

"They are tough games for Wales, but we want to be testing ourselves to see where we are and how much we've got to do.

"We've had a lot of games lately so this is another one on top."

Looking at the calibre of players available to manager Mark Hughes, Wales appear to now have the nucleus of a more than useful side when you consider the rapid emergence of players such as Simon, Mark Delaney and Craig Bellamy.

"We've got Giggs, Hartson, Speed too," added Simon. "It's a good side and we can play some good stuff. We have improved in the last 12 months and now we've got to keep on improving ready for the tournament."

One downside for Simon in joining up with his national team squad is that he may have to face a bit of ribbing from his own manager, with the veteran Hughes having featured in the Blackburn side that beat us in Cardiff.

"I know yeah. I haven't spoken to him since so I'm sure he's going to give me a bit of stick, but he played well and deserved it."