Huddlestone out to earn his Spurs
Fit again midfielder vows to prove his worth to AVB
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo. Last Updated: July 26, 2012 9:17am
Tom Huddlestone: Confident he is over his injury problems ahead of the new season
Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone is determined to put his injury problems behind him and establish himself in Andre Villas-Boas' plans.
Huddlestone missed the majority of last season with a long-term ankle injury he picked up last August.
The 25-year-old has returned to action for Spurs in their pre-season friendlies with Stevenage and LA Galaxy and is keen to be fit for the start of the new season next month.
"Last season was so frustrating," said Huddlestone. "I made four appearances at the start but then I picked up the ankle problem which persisted for months. It was particularly hard when I was two or three weeks away from returning and then I discovered I needed another operation that ruled me out for the season.
"That was a big setback but once I knew I would not play again, I could concentrate solely on getting ready for this pre-season.
"I've had no problems with the ankle since. It'll be something I'll always have, I just have to learn how to manage it. I'll have to take it day by day, but I don't think it will be a case of missing matches because the games are far enough apart."
Huddlestone is keen to make an impression on Villas-Boas after almost becoming a forgotten man at White Hart Lane.
"Everybody's new to him and it's a fresh start for everyone," added Huddlestone. "Players who were maybe in the shadows before have now got a clean slate and, to a certain extent, I am one of those players, having missed so much of last season."
"Players who were maybe in the shadows before have now got a clean slate and, to a certain extent, I am one of those players, having missed so much of last season.
Tom Huddlestone Quotes of the week
Huddlestone has been tipped to take the place of wantaway star Luka Modric, but the former Derby man insists he is determined to start in the side next term, regardless of whether Modric stays or goes.
"Regardless of whether Luka stays or goes, I want to be in the starting XI," continued Huddlestone. "Whenever I've been fully fit at Tottenham, I've been in the team and I want that to continue.
"Luka's a fantastic player and I don't really know what his situation is. But I am fully confident in my own ability to play in the team with him or without him."