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Taricco's Town target

English Barclays Premiership

Mauricio Taricco will cast aside his love for Ipswich Town and aim to give them the worst possible start in the Premiership.

We play our left-back's former club on the first day of next season when George Burley's newly-promoted outfit arrive at White Hart Lane on Saturday August 19.

The Argentinian star played over 150 games for Town between 1994-1998 before becoming George Graham's first signing at Spurs in December 1998. He was a huge fans' favourite at Portman Road and twice suffered play-off defeats at the club before moving to the Lane.

He admits he kept in touch with Ipswich's dramatic play-off final in May via the internet while back home in Argentina but leaves you in no doubt that there will be only one thing on his mind come opening day.

"Of course, Ipswich still has a place in my heart because I had some great years there and my relationship with the fans and everyone at the club was fantastic," he said. "I hope they can survive in the Premiership but I also want to win the first game. This is very important.

"Ipswich is still very special for me but I am a professional. I play for Tottenham and I want us to win every game we play. My attitude for this game is no different and then after the game, I will wish them all the best. That is football."

Taricco, 27, fears for Ipswich's survival chances. "I think they might struggle, I hope they don't, but I think that might be the case," he admits.

"For certain, they will try to play football. That is the way they were promoted and that is how they will play. But I say that it will be very, very difficult.

"The start to the season is important. If they get some good results and play well, then everyone will be confident. If not, you can get the feeling that you can never turn the corner."

(Provisional - subject to confirmation)
Aug 19 Ipswich Town H
Aug 22 Middlesbrough A
Aug 26 Newcastle United A
Sept 5 Everton H
Sept 9 West Ham United H
Sept 16 Charlton Athletic A
Sept 23 Manchester City H
Sept 30 Leeds United A
Oct 14 Coventry City A
Oct 21 Derby County H
Oct 28 Chelsea A
Nov 4 Sunderland H
Nov 11 Aston Villa A
Nov 18 Liverpool H
Nov 25 Leicester City H
Dec 2 Manchester United A
Dec 9 Bradford City A
Dec 16 Arsenal H
Dec 23 Middlesbrough H
Dec 26 Southampton A
Dec 30 Ipswich Town A
Jan 1 Newcastle United H
Jan 13 Everton A
Jan 20 Southampton H
Jan 31 West Ham United A
Feb 3 Charlton Athletic H
Feb 10 Manchester City A
Feb 24 Leeds United H
Mar 3 Derby County A
Mar 17 Coventry City H
Mar 31 Arsenal A
Apr 7 Bradford City H
Apr 14 Sunderland A
Apr 16 Chelsea H
Apr 21 Liverpool A
Apr 28 Aston Villa H
May 5 Leicester City A
May 19 Manchester United H

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.