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Sully on return

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).

Awards appear to be something of a footballing curse. Supporters know to prepare themselves for a defeat or two should their manager be handed the 'Manager of the Month' award while, for Neil Sullivan, collecting the 'Player of the Year' gong led to a three-game spell out of the side.

Sully collected his prize prior to the Ipswich home defeat in December, was blamed for Southampton's winner on Boxing Day and was benched for the trip to Aston Villa the following Saturday.

Kasey Keller stepped in and conceded two goals in three games before Sully was recalled for the Ipswich return at Portman Road.

Mention the awards curse to Sully and he just smiles and shrugs his broad shoulders.

"That's football," he pondered. "It's the way things go and is all part and parcel of the game.

"The only thing you can do is keep working and hopefully get your chance."

Sully retained a positive air while out of the side, he kept a smile on his face and kept working hard on the training pitch.

"You have to," he insists. "These things happen in football, I don't think 'accept' is quite the right word. You have to know that it will happen sooner or later and get on with it.

"There's only one way you're going to get back in the side and it's certainly not by moping and walking around with the hump."

So does Sully feel that the performance level of his first season at the Lane has returned?

"I always go into a game feeling very confident and very sharp. You come back in and seek to start from where you want to be.

"It was something that happened, you get on with it and thankfully I'm back in the side with us having a big final to look forward to."

Our recruit from Wimbledon refutes the suggestion that a break from first team duty might have been beneficial to him.

"No. I love playing games. The more games you play the more successful you are.

"It's hard. We've been playing Saturday-Wednesday for a long period of time. It's the games you want to be playing in though, it is hard work and it does take a lot out of you, but you'd rather be playing twice a week than just at the weekend."

A fact Sully is just as sure about is that this is an exciting time to be a Spurs player - and he hopes there is more of the same to come.

"The team's been fantastic all year. We lost a few points in the league on the spin which was very disappointing because we got ourselves into a very good position leading up to the Christmas period really.

"So that was disappointing. But we've said if we keep playing the way we have and get a few breaks then we will hammer a team sooner or later. As it happens, it worked out that we beat Chelsea in a semi-final - so it was a good time to do that.

"Now we've got to carry it on, that's the thing. We've said if we keep plugging away we'll get the results so we've a good platform. We've set the standards and now we've got to try and keep up to them."