Ben: "I can't wait to get back out there"
Wed 12 February 2020, 15:54|Tottenham Hotspur
Everything looked rosy for Ben Davies 72 minutes into Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge.
Jose set out an important role for the Welsh defender in that cauldron of an opener at West Ham back on 23 November.
Ben started at left-back in our 4-2-3-1 system but when we were in possession of the ball, he moved inside making a three-man defence, allowing right-back Serge Aurier to push forward and become another attacking option. “Defend with a back four, attack with a back three,” Jose later explained.
It was a role made for Ben. A left-back with 177 appearances to his name at Spurs, he’d also played regularly on the left side of a three-man central defence in his 52 caps for Wales.
It was working perfectly as well. We’d stormed into a 3-0 lead at the London Stadium and were in complete control. Then, on 73 minutes, Michail Antonio fired home for West Ham and connected with Ben on his follow through. It looked innocuous enough at the time, but Ben was forced off two minutes later – and has been out since with ankle ligament damage.
After missing Jose’s next 18 games and being sidelined for 10 weeks, Ben is back in full training. Jose reported last week that he was hopeful he’d be available when we travel to Villa on Sunday (2pm).
“I feel good,” said Ben after training on Wednesday. “It’s a been a tough one, difficult not to be involved but look, it happens in football, and you have to be ready when you come back.
“I want to be part of the group but unfortunately in that first game against West Ham I had that taken away from me. I feel ready now and I can’t wait to get back out there.”
Recalling the injury, he added: “I tried to play on with it but I was struggling to run, I knew it was sore but I tried to get to the end of the game, couldn’t manage it, then had some scans and realised the damage was pretty bad. Luckily, I didn’t need surgery and I’m over the hardest part now.”
His return is perfect timing with a crucial week ahead - after Villa, it’s the return of the Champions League and our Round of 16, first leg at home to RB Leipzig next Wednesday (19 February, 8pm) and then a huge Premier League derby at Chelsea on Saturday week (22 February, 12.30pm).
“We’ve a key run of matches coming up and we’ll need to be 100 per cent ready for them,” said Ben. “We’re winning games, and that’s most important. We’ve a couple of new faces in now, they’ve started well, and we’ve got to stick to the principles the gaffer sets out and perform as a team.”