Chiriches targets lucky number seven for Spurs

09 November 2013 01:31

Vlad Chiriches is hoping he will make it lucky clean sheet number seven for Tottenham Hotspur if he is picked to face Newcastle United on Sunday.

The Romania skipper has yet to concede a goal whilst playing for Andre Villas-Boas' side this season and has been part of a squad that has kept 13 clean sheets in 18 games.

But facing a Magpies side boosted by a shock 2-0 home win against Chelsea last Saturday, the 23-year-old centre-back knows that Spurs can't get complacent going into the international break.

He said: "Its a good motivation if we can win. It's good for our position if we can go into the break with a win. We hope to perform well in the game and hopefully we can get the points. I feel very good about the clean sheets.

"It's a good feeling for all the team to have so many games without conceding any goals, and it's a good thing for us in the long-term."

Villas-Boas is likely to resort to type and recall Roberto Soldado back to his starting XI in place of record-breaking striker Jermain Defoe.

The England man notched his ninth of the campaign in Thursday's 2-1 Europa League win against FC Sheriff to become the club's all-time leading scorer in Europe.

"It's not sunk in yet and I'm delighted," said Defoe, who topped Martin Chivers' record of 22 goals.

"I tried to keep cool and the lads were great even before the game. I saw Martin at half-time and he told me to keep going and that calmed me down a bit. Sometimes these things are meant to be.

"It's crazy how it all happened. Chiv wanted me to do it and that means a lot. It's important to keep on winning football matches now because you never know what we can achieve in this season - we are doing well in the league and everyone is doing their part.

"Luckily enough the manager can rotate the team and has strong players to bring in."

Alan Pardew would love to be reunited with Defoe, but admits Newcastle's hopes of luring the England international to Tyneside are slim.

Pardew worked with Defoe during their time together at West Ham, and he has made tentative inquiries about the 31-year-old, who has struggled to hold down a regular Premier League place this season.

"I worked with Jermain at West Ham, and I think he's a fantastic player," Pardew said.

"When the ball comes into him, left foot, right foot, he's comfortable, and he's good in the air for a wee fella. He's a terrific player but really and truly I don't think he'd come to this football club.

"There was a little bit of interest from us, but he's a Spurs player and he's doing a good job there. Whenever he is called upon, he scores so I wouldn't be surprised if they start him on Sunday."

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini is pushing for a return after missing the last four games through injury, but Pardew could stick with the side that beat Jose Mourinho's Blues last time out.

The manager added: "This is the first time we've lost Colo and looked comfortable, certainly more comfortable than when he's been out in the past. We've proved this season that we can cope without him. We look a bit stronger in depth, and that is good."

Source: AFP

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